Изображения страниц

needs created, have to be addressed. The Department has some direct control

over only the third and fourth obstacles--the others can be affected only through influence and/or mutual understanding. Hence, the major thrust of a DOJ program to address white-collar crime could reasonably be expected to concentrate on the enhancement of investigative and prosecutive capabilities.

Nature and Characteristics of white-Collar Crime Cases.

White-collar crimes

involve numerous and varied offenses, including: consumer and investor fraud, government program fraud, regulatory violations and public corruption. These

crimes are generally perpetrated through concealment and deception and often

involve complicated and/or sophisticated schemes. Because many fraudulent schemes can be operated simply by using a post office box or a telephone,

they tend to have a high degree of mobility and can be perpetrated simul

taneously or successively in several districts. Finally, white-collar criminal

activities may violate a multiplicity of statutes, or not correspond to any one statute. Thus a versatility of expertise is required to adequately respond to the criminal activity.

By their very nature, white-collar crimes are often difficult and time-consuming

to detect, investigate, and prosecute. Generally, the investigative agencies

rely on the victim or a witness to detect the crime, and investigate only

after a complaint or allegation has been received.

Once an investigation

commences--which can be long after the crime has allegedly been committed--it

can take many investigators working several months to amass evidence, and

reconstruct events and transactions. Then, auditors and/or accountants may

be required to sort through voluminous amounts of evidenciary materials. When the case goes to trial, litigation is often lengthy because of the

necessity to document clearly all that transpired in a manner understandable

to a jury. Furthermore, since fraud often is detected and/or investigated years after the fact, prosecution may be hampered by loss of testimonial or

documentary evidence, or barred by statutes of limitation. Finally, even

when the prosecution is successful, the sanctions imposed are frequently

light considering the gravity and magnitude of many of the offenses.

The General Public's and Victims' Attitudes. To further complicate the

problem of preventing and/or detecting these crimes, the public, business

communities, and governmental program agencies in many areas have little

understanding of the nature and scope of white-collar crime. Without this

awareness, they cannot be expected to design systems of operation which pre

vent crime, to correct program and operational deficiencies in order to

reduce the opportunities to commit these crimes, or to establish a system of

checks and balances which would lead to earlier detection of such crimes.

Even with this a general understanding of white-collar crime, victims cannot always be relied upon to identify their occurrences because of the complex

nature or extent of the crime, or the effect it may have upon the victim.

For example:

[ocr errors]

Knowing victims may be unwilling or too embarrassed to report an incident, such as a private institution concerned about adverse


71-529 0 - 81 - 6

[ocr errors]

No one individual recognizes that he is a victim if losses are spread

[ocr errors]

over a large group, such as consumers or taxpayers; or
Victims cannot easily discern losses because they involve a series of
complex financial transactions which can easily conceal the losses;
e.g., stock manipulation; these victims are often large groups or

private institutions.

Furthermore, there can be an enormous social cost in the erosion of public confidence which results from breaches of public trust.

Characteristics of the Federal Investigative System. There are a multiplicity of Federal agencies responsible for investigating individual violations of specific Federal statutes and regulations generically classified as whitecollar crime. These agencies include: the traditional investigative agencies, such as FBI, Postal Inspection Service, Internal Revenue Service (IRS), Customs Service, Secret Service, and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms; the relatively new OiGs in Executive departments and agencies and their equivalents in the Department of Defense; and the quasi-independent or regulatory agencies, such as the Securities and Exchange Commission, and the Commodities Futures Trading Commission. The enforcement activities of any of these groups may reveal criminal offenses violating statutory responsi

bilities of their own and/or other agencies.

Despite statutory jurisdictions, responsibilities for the investigation of white-collar offenses are not neatly allocated among the investigative agencies, primarily because there is not always a one-to-one correspondence between a

particular offense and a statute. A single case of consumer fraud, for example, could be prosecuted under the mail fraud statute (traditionally investigated by the Postal Service) or wire fraud statute (traditionally investigated by

the FBI), or both.

In some instances, two agencies may have jurisdiction over

the same statute and, thus, may investigate the same offense. More frequently, two or more agencies investigate an alleged offense because it encompasses violations of more than one statute. The division of responsibilities among

the agencies has, over the years, engendered independent investigations with little communication between agencies, and thus has usually resulted in a

fragmented and sometimes overlapping approach to addressing white-collar crime.

Contributing to this fragmentation is the fact that each agency has its own objectives and incentives to carry out its mission and to work a maximum

number of cases.

The major incentive for working with a high volume of

cases is the traditional investigative reward system, based on the quantity of matters or cases investigated, and not necessarily on their quality. This reward structure frequently encourages investigators to take the reactive

approach to law enforcement because it generally allows them to develop more

cases more quickly than a proactive approach. The reward structure may also

foster a territorial attitude, i.e., one agency not always wanting to share

their "statistics" with another agency, so that it would be unusual for an

agency to seek actively or routinely the assistance or collaboration of another agency on a particular case. This attitude often results in a duplication of effort or work performed at cross-purposes and prevents one agency from

benefiting from the expertise of another agency.

There have been instances,

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 capa

bility 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 Marianna. 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.

« ПредыдущаяПродолжить »