January 25, 2014 /24-7PressRelease/
-- As 2014 begins, experts in criminal law have begun to look back at last year's trends in arrests and prosecutions. Many believe that the Securities and Exchange Commission and the Department of Justice are likely to continue emphasizing the investigation and prosecution of many of the same crimes as they did last year. Specifically, it appears as if prosecutions for white collar crimes
, including accounting fraud and insider trading, are likely to continue throughout 2014.
Many were surprised that investigating incidences of accounting fraud emerged as a point of emphasis for the SEC in 2013. Indeed, over the past five years, there have been few high profile investigations for these sorts of crimes. While civil enforcement actions for accounting fraud accounted for approximately 25 percent of the SEC's efforts between 2003 and 2005, these cases only accounted for 11 percent of SEC enforcement actions last year.
Although it is unlikely that investigations for accounting fraud will make up 25 percent of SEC enforcement actions in 2014, some believe that the number is likely to increase substantially this year. The reason is that the SEC has been working to develop an analytical model that can quickly and efficiently identify companies that engaged in making misstatements about their earnings. This new emphasis on data analysis may well lead to more investigations and enforcement actions.
In 2013, the Southern District of New York saw a number of prosecutions for insider trading. Overall, prosecutors charged 11 people with insider trading, five of which pleaded guilty and one of which was convicted. These sorts of crimes were a point of emphasis in the Southern District and, as many believe, throughout the entire Department of Justice. Over the past four years, prosecutors have charged a total of 87 individuals with insider trading, 77 of which were convicted or pleaded guilty.
In many cases, prosecutions for these sorts of crimes can uncover new information and can cause individuals to turn evidence over to investigators in exchange for leniency. This means that 2014 is likely to see a continued increase in the number of insider trading investigations throughout the U.S.
If you are under investigation for a white collar crime, it is important to speak to a criminal defense attorney with experience representing those accused of white collar crimes. A criminal defense attorney understands the stakes and can help you defend your rights. For more information, speak to an attorney today.
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