The FBI has recommended only 2,001 white-collar cases for criminal prosecution so far this fiscal year, on pace for a nearly 7 percent drop from last year, according to a report Tuesday by a research group affiliated with Syracuse University.
It would be one of the lowest years on record and would extend a yearslong trend, according to government data obtained by the Transactional Records Access Clearinghouse.
Typically, the FBI investigates potential wrongdoing and recommends cases to the Justice Department, where federal prosecutors make final decisions about whether to file cases.
Despite concerns about widespread wrongdoing on Wall Street, the number of white-collar prosecutions recommended by the FBI has plummeted 45.2 percent in the past decade, according to data obtained by TRAC.
It’s not for a lack of resources. The number of criminal investigators has risen, to 13,812 this year from 11,097 in 2001.
But the number of white-collar cases has fallen as the FBI has focused its efforts on fighting terrorism, according to the TRAC report.