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After announcing his four priority areas of law enforcement for the Department, Attorney General Bell encouraged the OUSAs to establish specialized units to
address these priorities. In response, approximately 25 units were developed locally to eliminate backlogs and prosecute new cases when they were presented to the OUSA. As the smaller offices eliminated their backlogs and found few priority cases being developed, they disbanded their units. Thus, within a
year only 11 units, in large OUSAs with heavy caseloads in priority areas,
continued to exist.
To ensure an effective, coordinated approach to white-collar crime enforcement,
it was necessary to design a program with overall guidance and direction. To make the program responsive to the individual needs of an OUSA's district, however, elements of flexibility and adaptability were required. Hence, the
ECE program, with dual levels of responsibility and operation, was developed.
In formulating the organizational framework for the ECE program, DOJ reviewed the experience and practice of two of its ongoing program initiatives: the
Organized Crime and Racketeering (OCR) Strike Forces, developed in 1967 to
focus departmental efforts on organized crime; and the Controlled Substances
Units (CSU),* designed in 1975 to direct departmental resources for controlling
The program name has subsequently been changed to the Major Drug Traffickers Prosecution Program.
narcotics trafficking.* The Strike Forces are composed of CRM attorneys and operate separately from the OUSA, while the CSUS are comprised of AUSAS
designated to prosecute major drug cases exclusively and function as a part
of the OUSA. However, in the ECE program the U.S. Attorney forms the ECE unit consisting of experienced AUSAs and CRM provides an ECE Specialist, an attorney who works with the unit to assist in setting district priorities, to develop methods of preventing white-collar crimes, and to improve the capability of the unit to identify, investigate and prosecute white-collar crime offenders. This collaboration of the OUSA and CRM is intended to bring together the complementary characteristics of two departmental components having concurrent responsibilities: the expertise and experience of a large decentralized network of prosecutorial resources (within the 95 districts of the U.S. Attorneys), and the centralized program oversight and coordination
of the OECE. This collaboration, if successful, is expected to effectively
address a national law enforcement problem and utilize available resources
in a more efficient and accountable manner.
Full implementation of the ECE program will include 30 ECE regions covering
the 50 States, the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico.
Each region will
consist of one unit district and one or more non-unit districts. The national
composition of the program is to have 30 ECE unit districts and 63 non-unit districts, covering all the Federal judicial districts except Guam and North
The initial plan for establishing units is outlined in the Deputy
A comparison of these two programs and the ECE program is beyond the scope of this study, and, will not be addressed in this report.
Attorney General's memorandum dated March 26, 1979 (Appendix III), and is contingent upon approval of CRM's budget request for the fiscal years covered
by the implementation plan.
FY 1979 - Establish seven offices covering 21 Federal districts
and link the 16 pre-existing specialized prosecution units in other
OUSAs with the program;
•FY 1980 - Place ECE Specialists in an additional 12 units;
through their unit district.
Although the total number of units has been expanded to 30, there has been
very little modification in the first two phases of the implementation plan. The following chart shows the establishment of ECE units during FY 1979 and FY 1980, and the location of the 18 existing units and 12 proposed units are illustrated on the map on page 101 (Appendix IV).
October *** October
1979 - ECE Program Established 1980 - Report of the Implementation Study of the ECE Program 1982 - Expected Completion Date for Establishing all 30 ECE Units
OBSTACLES TO EFFECTIVE WHITE-COLLAR CRIME ENFORCEMENT
The ECE program was developed as a strategy to combat white-collar criminal activities, which have a deleterious effect upon the nation's economy and upon the general public good. The concept of the program, its organizational
structure, staffing, operational framework, goals and objectives are designed
to address major obstacles to effective economic crime enforcement.
nature and extent of these obstacles illuminate the difficulties experienced in combatting white-collar crime, and the necessity for cohesive enforcement efforts; at the same time, they distinguish white-collar crime from other
areas of criminal activity, e.g., narcotics or organized crime. These
The general public's and victims' attitudes toward white-collar crime;
plicity of agencies and their relationships to one another;
The characteristics of the Federal prosecutive system, and its
relationship to the investigative agencies;
The State and local prosecutive and investigative agencies' relationship to the Federal enforcement system, including problems of concurrent
The sanctions available and/or imposed against the white-collar criminal.
To provide an effective strategy for attacking white-collar crime, it should be
recognized that these obstacles, their attendant problems, and the enforcement