5 hours ago by: David J Lynch in Washington
The president’s zeal on street crime represents a shift in enforcement priorities compared with the Obama administration, which secured more than $20bn in corporate fines and penalties in its final weeks alone, from companies including Rolls-Royce, Volkswagen and Deutsche Bank. Under Mr Trump, the US Department of Justice may not overhaul its white-collar crime stance as thoroughly as its approach to areas such as voting rights, where the government recently switched sides in a high-profile case.
But prosecutions of securities law and Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA) violations may be overshadowed by its focus on traditional crime, say some white-collar defence lawyers. “I suspect it will be different,” said Alan Dershowitz, a prominent defence attorney and Harvard Law School professor. “There’ll be more scepticism about FCPA, more scepticism about exporting American values around the world, a more conservative approach to going after corporations in questionable circumstances.
You’ll see fewer white-collar prosecutions probably.” The president already has begun reshaping the ranks of federal prosecutors, with his weekend sacking of all 46 holdover US attorneys appointed by President Barack Obama. Those let go included Preet Bharara, the US attorney in Manhattan, who led a multiyear offensive against insider trading by hedge funds. Related article Trump creates more vacancies by booting US attorneys Sudden sacking of top NY prosecutor raises new questions about political interference Questions about the seven-week old Trump administration dominated conversations last week at the American Bar Association’s annual white-collar crime conference.
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