I have been a lawyer handling federal criminal defense for almost 40 years, mostly here in Atlanta, but in other parts of the United States when my cases take me there. I keep tabs on trends in federal law enforcement, because it’s part of may job to do so. As part of my regular reading, I came across this article about the likely increase in federal fraud investigations and prosecutions.
Readers (you three know who you are) recognize this is a somewhat regular topic I write about, the changing trends in federal criminal enforcement. For many years, the Feds could not take their eyes off drug crimes. Then came “illegal” aliens. Then it was “terrorism.” Now, after we opened the Federal Treasury for what seems to be much-needed pandemic-assistance, the federal law enforcement agencies are going after individuals who possibly committed fraud to get some of this money.
Astute readers of the previous paragraph will note that I never mentioned the words “corporation,” “companies,” or “businesses.” That is because the history of the past four decades of federal law enforcement clearly demonstrates that the Feds prefer targeting individuals, and let the bigger players get off with little pain. Sure, we occasionally see a big federal criminal case against a company, but this is the rare exception. Instead, we seem to prefer going after the poorest and weakest, make lots of cases and act as if we are doing something about a societal problem. The author Matt Taibbi has written extensively about this trend, I recommend his work.
Whether they go after the smaller fish or the really big thieves, we are certain of one thing: federal fraud investigations and prosecutions are and will continue to be on the rise.