RealNews

FBI Shift Crimps White-Collar Crime Probes

With more agents moved to anti-terrorism duty, corporate fraud cases are routinely put on hold, prosecutors say. A massive shift of FBI agents to anti-terrorism and counterintelligence duties has undermined the work of fraud investigators, who are taking on fewer scam artists and corporate miscreants and taking longer to complete cases, Justice Department officials say. The shift, a response to the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon, has been felt especially hard in Southern California, a traditional breeding ground for fraud. “The number of agents currently working white-collar crime is significantly diminished from the number of agents working it before 9/11, because we’ve had to move a lot of personnel resources over to counterterrorism and counterintelligence,” said James M. Sheehan, FBI special agent in charge of the Los Angeles office’s criminal division. Full Story

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