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Why Don't White-Collar Criminals Get Equal Time?

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After years of ignoring accusations, some Obama officials—Attorney General Holder and Lanny Breuer, chief of the criminal division—have essentially admitted that their decisions on prosecution were directly influenced by the question of whether indictments would rattle the entire global system and maybe trigger another crash. On PBS Frontline, Breuer acknowledged that he consulted federal regulators on whether to go ahead with criminal cases. Breuer said, “If I bring a case against Institution A, and as a result of bringing that case, there’s some huge economic effect—if it creates a ripple effect so that suddenly, counterparties and other financial institutions or other companies that had nothing to do with this are effected badly—it’s a factor we need to know and understand.”

This is essentially the Obama adminstration’s “get out of jail free” card. If a mega-bank breaks the law, its leaders merely apologize and put up some money to compensate for their crime, lest the economy and other bankers suffer collateral consequences. Imagine if the government enforced its drug laws on that principle. That would empty the prisons overnight.

Non-enforcement scandals will keep piling up because—no secret really—the financial system is riddled with fraud and related crimes. As the heat rose on Justice, Breuer resigned or rather “retired” with appropriate applause from colleagues. Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner, who doubtlessly influenced forgiveness for banks and bankers, has already left office and returned to New York. Was Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke consulted by the prosecutors? Was the White House? Who said what to whom? And what did the president know? http://www.thenation.com/blog/172670/why-dont-white-collar-criminals-get-equal-time

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These crimes and this type fraud cost our country and the taxpayers a lot more money than most if not all of the other stuff we discuss on here, but it doesn't get investigated/prosecuted like a lot of those things because of the... wait for it...

$$$$$$$$$$$$$$

Pad a few coffers, donate a few million, pay a few fines... "what fraud?"

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why don't those dumb fugs who think that shooting someone who attempts to steal their flat screen tv is totally reasonable and justified ever take their guns to wall street?

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Because they have to leave their trailer park cul-de-sac?

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yeah i know lol rednecks and whatever

seriously, people argue that their cheap electronics are worth killing or dying over but when the banks nearly destroyed the world economy it just led to a bunch of "lol occupy wall street* huh hippies? maybe you should GET A JOB"

*in retrospect it was a p shitty movement altogether but goddammit they at least said some correct things about the most parasitic group of people in our society

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Because everybody said "lol teabaggers" when they tried. Then they elected their politicians who turned out to be more of the same

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i'm pretty sure the teabaggers were staunchly anti-regulation

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Later after the idiots joined, yes.

It's origins were pretty different

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most lack of charges against wall st have to do less with worry over economy than worry over who will get the campaign contributions next time around.

stealing is stealing and all should go to jail

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Part of it is also the level of case you have to bring against them.

White collar criminals are likely to bring a crack legal team and a solid case; compare this to a public defenders falling asleep in the courtroom during poor folks trials. If the prosecution doesn't bring their A game, they'll be absolutely destroyed. It takes a brave (and talented) DA office (or AG)to constantly go up against that.

That being said Breuer can go kick rocks.

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White collar crime can be much harder to prove.

That being said, I want someone who breaks into my house punished to a greater degree than someone who embezzles from the bank I have my money in, simply because the person who breaks into my house is a greater threat to me and my family than the embezzler.

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The Untouchables http://video.pbs.org/video/2320302253

Lanny Breuer is leaving his position as head of the Justice Department’s criminal division, The Washington Post reported Wednesday.

As assistant attorney general, Breuer led the effort to pursue allegations of fraud and corruption at major banks in the wake of the financial meltdown. The Post said it was unclear when Breuer will leave, and didn’t offer a reason. A DOJ spokeswoman told FRONTLINE that the department wouldn’t comment on the report.

Breuer was featured in FRONTLINE’s documentary, The Untouchables, which aired on Tuesday and explored the reasons why no Wall Street executives have been prosecuted for fraud in connection with the financial crisis. Breuer told FRONTLINE that the DOJ had pursued charges when officials found evidence of fraud. “But in those cases where we can’t bring a criminal case — and federal criminal cases are hard to bring — I have to prove that you had the specific intent to defraud. …If we cannot establish that, then we can’t bring a criminal case,” he said.

The edited transcript of his interview is here. Watch the full film here.

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