According to data from the Justice Department, federal prosecutions of white-collar crimes have dropped significantly, reaching 20-year lows. The data was released by researchers at Syracuse University, who went through documents from the Justice Department. The analysis of documents finds that the federal government filed a total of 5,173 cases involving white-collar crimes, during the first nine months of 2015. That was a decline by approximately 4,000 cases from just 10 years ago. In fact an analysis of the records shows that there has been an overall drop in the number of white-collar prosecutions. That drop amounts to a staggering 36% over the past 20 years.

White-collar crime can include blackmail, fraud, bribery, embezzlement, racketeering, identity theft, forgery, and more. Some of the most common white collar crimes include embezzlement, securities fraud and identity theft. Embezzlement is the theft/larceny of assets (money or property) by a person in a position of trust or responsibility over those assets. Securities fraud is common in the corporate world. This is the fraudulent trading of securities, such as stocks. Insider trading is fairly common in Corporate America and can be described as someone has inside information about a company or investment trades on that information in violation of a duty or obligation. If you steal someone else’s personal I.D. information and use it to commit forgery, fraud, or some similar crime, it’s identity theft, and it’s a serious charge. Identity thieves steal Social Security numbers, addresses, phone numbers, bank account numbers, credit card numbers, passwords, birth and death certificates, and anything else that can help them commit a crime.

One of the reasons for the low prosecutions has been budgeted cutbacks at the Justice Department, especially the division that is in charge of tracking and prosecuting white-collar crimes. This particular division has seen a drop in its workforce of more than 15%. In 2011, this division boasted of more than 1,500 employees, and now has just over 1,300 employees.

There is also no doubt that the drop in prosecution numbers is also the result of more aggressive defending by white-collar crime defense attorneys, who work early on to prevent prosecutions. Several defense strategies can be used to fight white collar crime charges. The defendant may not have been aware that he was committing a crime, or he or she could have been coerced into committing the crime against his or her will. The defense strategy that may be used in your case will depend heavily on what crime you allegedly committed and the specific circumstances surrounding the crime. Your best bet to build a solid defense strategy is to contact an experienced Westchester County white collar crimes attorney.

If you are facing white-collar crime charges, get in touch with a New York criminal defense attorney as soon as possible. Remember, the faster you get in touch with a New York criminal defense attorney, the quicker he can begin building a legal defense for you, defending your rights and possibly getting charges against you dismissed or lowered. Don’t wait any longer to seek legal assistance.

By: Kimberly Pelesz

Family law and criminal defense attorney Kimberly A. Pelesz received a B.S. degree magna cum laude and an M.P.A. degree summa cum laude from Binghamton University. She earned her J.D. from Pace University School of Law in White Plains, where she was selected for Phi Alpha Delta. Her charitable activities include work with My Sisters’ Place in White Plains and the Westchester County District Attorney’s Humane Education Taskforce.

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