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Justice Department Data Reveal 29 Percent Drop in Criminal Prosecutions of Corporations

“Criminal prosecution of corporate violators by the U.S. Department of Justice declined by 29 percent between FY 2004 and FY 2014, despite repeated claims to the contrary by top officials. Meanwhile over the same period, there has been little change in the number of times investigators at the various federal agencies have asked that criminal cases be brought against corporations; such referrals have actually increased by 2.6 percent. Moreover, the overall number of corporations in the country that could be investigated for criminal wrongdoing has grown by about 24 percent. These findings are based on a new analysis by Syracuse University’s Transactional Records Access Clearinghouse (TRAC) of hundreds of thousands of records developed and collected by the Justice Department. The case-by-case records were obtained by TRAC as the result of a 17-year litigation effort under the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA). Supporting data from the U.S. Sentencing Commission and the Internal Revenue Service also contributed to these findings. For an in-depth analysis of this observed decrease in the criminal prosecution of corporations, see the report at:

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