Justice Department announces new focus on white collar victims

When white collar crimes are investigated, several factors are considered. The Justice Department recently announced that they will now be considering the impacts on the victims more significantly in its investigations. It also shared it will be holding executives of companies that enable such crimes more individually responsible. North Carolina prosecutors, defense attorneys and those who may be accused of white collar crimes should be aware of this shift as they prepare for the future.

The news comes from a speech by the Justice Department’s assistant attorney general for the criminal division. Some highlights from the speech include:

  • Appointing a victim coordinator: This is a new role that will help to identify and shine a light on victims, which historically have been difficult to identify or consider in terms of harm committed in white collar cases.
  • Reviewing victim support: This includes looking into tools provided by litigating units, as well as holding companies more accountable for addressing the harm done to victims.
  • Providing time for victims to come forward: Specifically, the speech indicates giving prosecutors the option of separating plea hearings from corporation sentencing hearings. The goal would be to give those who have suffered from the wrongdoing the opportunity to make themselves known.

In addition to the above, the assistant attorney general spent time in his speech discussing the need to hold individuals accountable for financial crimes. This is an issue that has been hotly disputed by the criminal justice community, but the speech was very clear in its position on the matter. Defense attorneys, and anyone else involved in these types of legal cases, will be watching how these measures unfold very closely. Individuals accused of white collar crimes in North Carolina should work with a criminal defense attorney to understand how these measures, among other things, may impact their case.

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