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Department of Justice Collects Record Fines in 2010

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For the longest time, I assumed the scale that Lady Justice holds in her hand weighed…I don’t know…evidence? And maybe it does. But it also comes in mighty handy when weighing wads of cash.

Which, apparently, is exactly what the Department of Justice has enjoyed doing all year.

For the 2010 fiscal year, the DOJ collected $6.68 billion in fines, restitution, and assets from white-collar criminal cases. That’s an all-time high! The New York Post reports that the DOJ enjoyed a 30% increase in criminal collections and a 57% increase in civil collections since last year.

But the news just keeps getting better as white-collar crime keeps getting bigger and badder!

Check out this tasty nugget from the Online Lawyer Source:
The rise in white collar crime incidents has also contributed to a rise in cost to the nation. According to National Fraud Center statistics, the cost of economic crime has risen from $5 billion in 1970 to $100 billion in 1990, and is only expected to increase as occurrences become more frequent. For example, the Federal Bureau of Investigation’s Economic Crime Unit reports that telemarketing fraud, one of the fastest growing types of white-collar crime, has become an increasing problem in recent years, victimizing millions of people at a cost of $40 billion annually.
Plus, the mother of all lawsuits is right around the corner: The DOJ just announced it was suing BP for the Gulf oil spill to the tune of $20-30 billion!

And remember, folks, the whiter the collar, the bigger the fines!

So keep on lyin’, cheatin’, and stealin’, Corporate America. Because every time you do, the DOJ will be there to slowly -- and sometimes, effectively -- drag your ass through a complex litigation process that, if all ends well, will lead to modest fines that will help offset the cost of the DOJ’s 2011 budget of $24 million.
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