Financial criminals are facing the lowest number of federal prosecutions in at least 20 years, reports the Los Angeles Times. The government has filed 1,251 new prosecutions against financial institution fraud so far this fiscal year, according to the Transactional Records Access Clearinghouse at Syracuse University. If the same pace holds, federal attorneys will file 1,365 such cases by the end of the year –- the lowest number since at least 1991.
The report, compiled from Justice Department data gleaned through the Freedom of Information Act, considers crimes involving crooked mortgage brokers, bank executives with something to hide and accounts hiding illegal activity. The expected volume of prosecutions by the end of 2011 would be 2.4% smaller than that of last year, 28.6% thinner than that of five years ago and less than half the amount from a decade ago. The number of federal bank fraud cases has slipped every year since 1999.