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EXECUTIVE SUMMARY

The Economic Crime Enforcement (ECE) Program represents a major initiative of the Department of Justice (DOJ) to attack nationwide the problem of whitecollar crime. Formulated as a direct response to two of the Department's four law enforcement priorities, fraud and public corruption, the ECE program was formally established on February 8, 1979, by Attorney General Order 817-79. The Order provided for the formation of ECE Units in selected Offices of the U.S. Attorneys (OUSA), and for the program to be administered by the Office of Economic Crime Enforcement (OECE), Criminal Division (CRM). The program's overall goal is the enhancement of the Department's capability to combat white-collar crime through the efficient utilization of personnel in the prevention, detention, investigation and prosecution of white-collar crime offenders. The underlying rationale for creating this program emerged, in part, from a recognition of certain obstacles to effective economic crime enforcement, i.e., the deceptive nature of white-collar crime, the attitudes of the general public and victims toward white-collar crime, the multiplicity of agencies involved in the investigation of white-collar crimes as well as the decentralized Federal prosecutive system; and the type of sanctions imposed against the white-collar criminal. Organizationally, each unit is formed by the U.S. Attorney to consist of at least three, full-time Assistant U.S. Attorneys (AUSAs) and an ECE Specialist employed by the CRM. The focal point in the program for accomplishing program goals is the Specialist, who serves as an information resource, a program developer and coordinator, and a catalyst for effecting a new approach to the investigation and prosecution of white-collar crime. This new approach is intended to bring investigators and prosecutors together early in the case development process in order to assess the potential merits of a case, develop investigative and prosecutive strategies, provide for review of case progress and finally to bring complex, sophisticated white-collar crime cases to completion. This approach requires the Specialist to facilitate the development of an adequate information base, and cooperation among the various investigative agents as well as between investigators and prosecutors. Hence, the ECE program involves both a process detecting, investigating and preparing prosecutable cases, coordinating the various interests and efforts of Federal law enforcement agencies, educating business groups and the general public; and a product the prevention and successful prosecution of the white collar crime offender. Since the program's creation in February 1979, 18 ECE units have been established in OUSAs. To meet the objective of establishing a national program covering the 50 States, the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico, OECE plans to establish 12 additional units by October 1982, and staff the units with one or two Specialists. In addition to establishing 30 units, OECE plans to provide program services to the 63 non-unit Federal judicial districts. Prior to further expansion of the program, the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) requested the Department to conduct an evaluation of the effectiveness of the ECE program. In recognition of the recent creation of the program

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and the progressive development of the ECE units' operation, it was the view of the OECE and the study team that the program had not been functioning for a sufficient period of time to be the subject of a formal evaluation study. Therefore, it was determined that a program implementation study would satisfy the OMB request and provide the basis for developing a study design and methodology for evaluating the effectiveness of the ECE program in the future. The study was conducted by the Evaluation Staff, Justice Management Division (JMD), with the assistance of the Office of Policy and Management Analysis, CRM. The study focused on the concept of the program, the organizational structure, staffing and operational framework of the ECE units, and the process by which program goals and objectives are achieved. The study team visited the seven units established in FY 1979 and interviewed personnel within the OUSA, ECE unit staff, and agents from various Federal investigative and program agencies who handle white-collar crime cases, for the purpose of documenting the manner in which the underlying rationale was translated into program operations and identifying preliminary indicators of program strengths and weaknesses. From this process, the study team was able to make general conclusions regarding the program's likelihood for success. The recommendations from these conclusions will strengthen the effectiveness and efficiency of the program if applied consistently with the program's design -- to give the local level responsibility for establishing the means to accomplish program goals and objectives.

CONCLUSIONS

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That the goals and objectives of the ECE program provide an adequate
rationale for the structure of the program and the function of the
ECE units;
That the organizational and operational collaboration of OUSA and
CRM with respect to the ECE program provides an effective strategy
for addressing the problems of economic crime enforcement and for
utilizing available resources in a more efficient and accountable
manner;

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That the ECE program's national scope will be limited to the total number of ECE units until the relationship and role of the Specialist to the 63 non-unit Federal judicial districts is defined;

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That there is a need to better define the role and function of a
second Specialist within an ECE region and/or ECE unit district;
That the ECE units studied generally conform to the program's
conceptual design and organizational structure;
That implementation of the ECE program and achievement of program
goals and objectives are affected, in large part, by the organi-
zational relationship of the Specialist to the ECE unit, and by
the acceptance of the role and function of the Specialist by the
U.S. Attorney;

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• That where the Specialist is structured as an integral part of the

ECE unit, the program becomes a vital part of the OUSA, and program
objectives are accomplished more efficiently and effectively; and
That there is a need to better define the functions of the Specialist
with respect to: the selection, assignment and continuing oversight
of white-collar crime cases; the development of targeted investiga-
tions involving two or more investigative agencies; the agencies;
and prosecution of white-collar criminal cases.

RECOMMENDATIONS

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That CRM, define the organizational relationship of the Specialist
to the OUSA in non-unit districts, and delineate his responsibilities
to those non-unit districts;
That CRM conduct a needs assessment to determine if and how a second
Specialist could be used in an ECE region;
That CRM establish basic policy guidelines for the reallocation
of CRM resources;
That CRM in establishing new ECE units ensure that the Specialist will
be organizationally and functionally structured into the OUSA as an
integral member of the ECE unit;
That CRM specifically define the function of the Specialist in the
selection, assignment and continuing oversight of white-collar crime
cases;
That each OUSA establish a formal procedure which allows the Specialist
the opportunity to participate in the review process of white-collar
crime cases;
That CRM define the Specialist's role in developing targeted investiga-
tions involving two or more investigative agencies; and
That the Specialist be given a definite, but limited role in the
prosecution of white-collar crime cases.

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INTRODUCTION

A growing realization of the magnitude of white-collar criminal activities

and the costs these activities exact upon the public good, prompted the Department of Justice (DOJ), in early 1979, to focus its attention, channel

its resources, and define its strategy for combatting the problem of white

collar crime nationally. Part of the Department's response to the nationwide problem was the establishment of the Economic Crime Enforcement (ECE) Program

within the Criminal Division (CRM), a five point program of prevention,

detection, investigation, prosecution and sentence enhancement.

Since the establishment of the Office of Economic Crime Enforcement (OECE)

on February 8, 1979, 18 ECE units have been established within U.S. Attorneys'

Offices in various parts of the country. The program's national goal of 30

field units covering the 50 States, the District of Colubmia and Puerto Rico,

may be realized if the Department's FY 1981 budget is enacted as requested. The Department's FY 1982 budget request includes a proposal for 20 additional positions, which would allow CRM to complete its plan of expanding some units,

to include two ECE Specialists.

To assess the proposed expansion of the ECE program, the Office of Management

and Budget (OMB) requested an evaluation of the effectiveness of the ECE

units prior to submission of the 1982 budget request. However, in view of

the recent establishment of the program, its four year implementation schedule

and the fact that only seven of the 18 existing units have been operational

for more than a year, it was determined that an implementation study would

be the more appropriate response to the OMB request. It was felt that a

formal evaluation of the program should be deferred until the units could

reasonably be expected to have implemented the program's first and second

year objectives.

The seven units established in FY 1979 provided the framework within which the study was conducted, since they could reasonably be expected to have implemented the program's first year objectives. The study was designed to examine the ECE program's implementation - how the program operates, its critical elements, its variations, and its accomplishments - and to produce a report which documents the concepts and practices of the program, assesses its general effectiveness, identifies potential problems and provides recommendations to CRM management for program improvements. Specifically, the

objectives of the study were:

• To determine if program goals and objectives, as designed, can be

expected to address the obstacles to effective economic crime enforcement, thus providing an adequate rationale for the program

structure and functions;

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To examine the mission and function of the OECE in order to

determine the manner in which the OECE relates organizationally

and functionally to the field units, and to identify specific
accomplishments with respect to OECE stated objectives;

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To examine the organizational structure and staffing of each of

the seven initial ECE units within their respective OUSAs and each

unit's operations in relation to established program objectives

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