Commentary: white collar crime focus unrelenting

Given all the recent media headlines and attendant copy churned out regarding a U.S. Department of Justice focus on shored-up enforcement and application of so-called mandatory minimum sentencing rules in criminal cases, the DOJ’s predominant crime-fighting emphasis going forward seems clear enough.

Is it really the case, though, that a professed departmental emphasis on combating drugs, violent offenses and illegal immigration will be so singular and predominant as to reasonably undermine investigatory and enforcement efforts in other areas?

Like white collar crime probes, as suggested by the author of a recent media focus in the National Law Review?

Actually, contributor D. Michael Crites — who commands deeply proven experience in white collar criminal matters — asks and then answers his focal question, with his response being unequivocal on the matter.

No, Crites contends, the sharp focus on white collar crime and prosecution that was clearly on display during the Obama presidential administration will continue to be emphasized in the Trump government.

In fact, Crites implies, regulatory scrutiny and resulting criminal probes in the white collar realm could even intensify, given the new administration’s stated emphasis on rigorously enforcing anti-corruption laws.

Tellingly, current U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions has stressed that the so-called “Yates memo” (Sally Yates was the former U.S. Acting Attorney General) mandating a heightened focus on individual — as opposed to generalized corporate — malfeasance in white collar crime matters will continue to be applied.

That sends a crystal clear message to all individuals in Texas and across the country who work in corporate environments, namely, that the work they do could easily enough be subjected to close scrutiny by state and federal regulators and law enforcers looking for evidence of criminal wrongdoing.