The following is taken from an interview with a Virginia federal white collar attorney as they discuss the various emerging trends regarding the prosecution and investigation of white collar criminal offenses.
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Of all the industries that are typically investigated, healthcare is the largest and therefore the one that is routinely investigated more than others. Overall, this has to do with the allocation of money to available investigating agencies as they have endowed those agencies with the resources to have these investigators to actually go out into the field and talk to people who might be adversely affected by healthcare fraud and to do these investigations on the ground. They have a lot of people that are assigned to this role and so it really just has to do with allocation of resources.
In federal court there is a movement afoot, unfortunately, it has not taken hold just yet, but to adjust the sentencing guidelines down for white collar cases, for nonviolent financial crimes. The common perception among many legal professionals both in and out of the government is that some of these folks are getting a lot more time than they really ought to as a result of the way that the sentencing guidelines are currently constituted.
Unfortunately, in this case, changes tend to happen very slowly. There is no indication of when or if these changes are going to happen but that is one trend that is likely to take hold.
A lot of people are starting to realize that we are putting white collar criminals in prison for a lot longer than maybe they really deserve. There is no one trying to excuse their activity but rather compare what they have done and what sentence they are getting vis a vis other types of criminal activity, the sentencing guidelines skew against certain types of white collar crime in a disproportionate way. That’s something that is finally starting to be addressed.
They do call the Internet the Worldwide Web and that means it touches every state in the union. Regarding internet-related crimes, You could certainly be prosecuted from anywhere in the world right here in Virginia if whatever it is you are doing online affects the business in Virginia or affects the person in Virginia.
The interesting thing about jurisdiction in cases like these is that it can be where the crime was committed itself meaning where the perpetrator actually was when he did it or it can be prosecuted in many cases where the victim or the impact of that crime is mostly felt.