Federal Law Enforcement Officials Struggle to Handle White Collar Crime Cases

The FBI and other federal law enforcement officials are having a difficult time keeping up with white collar cases, according to a recent article on the NY Times website. At a time when white collar crimes involving fraudulent lending practices and mortgage fraud have increased due to the nature of the current economic climate, federal law enforcement officials are struggling to investigate these crimes due to limited resources and the continuing effects of a shift in personnel and priorities after 9/11. According to the article, the FBI just does not have the resources to devote to white collar crimes related to the current financial crisis. After 9/11, the FBI shifted approximately 1800, or 1/3rd, of its agents to terrorism and intelligence related departments. As a result, white collar criminal cases have seen a decrease in the number of cases investigated and charged. Although one would expect that mortgage fraud cases would increase the last year or so given the nature of the housing crisis, the article indicates that mortgage fraud cases are down 36% since 2001.

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