Although there are some kinds of criminal wrongdoing that have been escalating in recent years, there is reason to believe that white-collar offenses are not among those that are spiking. According to the Syracuse University joint data center known as the Transactional Records Access Clearinghouse (TRAC), white-collar prosecution hit an all-time low in 2022 since TRAC began analyzing prosecution data more than 20 years ago.
In all, fewer than 4,200 white-collar defendants faced prosecution nationwide during the 2022 fiscal year. It is worth noting that the Department of Justice has vocalized criticism of TRAC’s methods, although even these concerns don’t speak to a dispute that white-collar prosecutions are down across the board.
The fact that prosecutions are down – and have been trending downward steadily for at least a decade – doesn’t mean that white-collar wrongdoing never occurs. It likely means that due to lower rates of wrongdoing and other prosecutorial priorities, there are simply fewer individuals who are being held to account for engaging in white-collar offenses right now.
Even though white-collar prosecution rates have been dropping for some time and are continuing to drop, it’s important to avoid complacency. All too often, individuals who are committing relatively minor offenses assume that because fewer offenders are being prosecuted that their seemingly insignificant activities will go unnoticed. In reality, prosecutors may go after “small fish” to score a win or to leverage their situation to catch more significant offenders.
As a result, if you either know or suspect that you’re being investigated for white-collar wrongdoing, it’s time to seek legal guidance. By speaking with a legal professional who has experience with situations like yours, you’ll be better positioned to make informed choices as you construct the strongest defense possible under the circumstances.