U.S. Attorney General Merrick Garland announced that the Department of Justice (DOJ) is planning a hiring spree to investigate and prosecute pandemic related fraud and traditional white collar crimes. President Biden’s budget seeks $3.5 million to hire an additional 120 prosecutors to focus on pandemic related fraud and $325 million for 900 additional FBI agents to investigate white collar crimes.

Speaking at the ABA’s annual white collar crime conference, Garland said that DOJ’s interest in white collar crimes is once again being prioritized. DOJ is placing renewed emphasis on serving victims of white collar crime with an approach similar to that in violent crimes. What this means is that DOJ will place a greater emphasis on victims’ rights and economic losses. There will be a renewed effort on criminally prosecuting responsible corporate officers, rather than merely accepting big-dollar corporate pleas or civil resolutions with large financial penalties.

This announcement comes on the heels of DOJ’s new hires for the Criminal Division’s Fraud Section late last year, as well as its renewed efforts in prosecuting environmental and antitrust matters. In addition to the new funds and hires, DOJ will use what the AG calls “force multipliers” to uncover fraud – partnerships with government agencies in the U.S. and abroad and new data analytics. Embedded in the Fraud Section are FBI data experts that model their assessments of payment anomalies and other activity patterns first developed in investigations of health care fraud.

A.G. Garland also announced the formation of KleptoCapture, its new Russian sanctions task force headed by former SDNY AUSA Andrew Adams. With more than a dozen prosecutors, the task force is designed to quickly and aggressively enforce sanctions here, and those coordinated with other countries, to punish the Kremlin and certain oligarchs for the invasion of Ukraine.

Stahl Criminal Defense Attorneys actively and aggressively defend clients being investigated and prosecuted for white-collar fraud. We have successfully defended cases involving health care fraud, tax fraud, crypto currency, international money transfers and money laundering, import duties and taxes, and other types of sophisticated fraudulent schemes. To contact Mr. Stahl, call 908.301.9001 for the NJ office and 212.755.3300 for the NYC office, or email Mr. Stahl at rstahl@stahlesq.com