Monday, November 17, 2008

Surge in Criminal Prosecutions Expected Due to Financial Crisis

The recent financial crisis may have another effect that will be felt in the area of Criminal Law. A surge in the number of prosecutions over dropping stock prices and Wall Street collapses. There is an underlying sense of anger over the financial collapses which could cause a drastic jump in the number of prosecutions for white collar crimes. Mainstream media have been reporting that U.S. Attorneys are currently conducting investigations into Lehman Brothers, Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac and AIG Insurance. The director of the FBI recently told Congress that 24 large financial companies were under investigation. A couple of Bear Stearns executives have already been indicted and at least 11 people have already pled guilty to a mortgage fraud case in New York. In addition, there may be opportunities to pursue prosecutions against many real estate brokers, agents, appraisers and buyers.

The concern among legal circles is whether the current feeding frenzy and public outrage over the financial crisis will cause prosecutors to pursue cases that they otherwise would not have pursued. In other words, will the mood of the country affect decisions concerning prosecutions? Will market forces be mistaken for criminal conduct? Will mistakes by executives be elevated to crimes? All these questions should be answered in the coming months when the criminal probes and prosecutions start to play out.

For more information about the Chicago criminal defense attorneys at Legal Defenders, contact us at or call us at 1-800-228-7295.

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