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Regulation White Collar Crime

DOJ 2021 Fraud Section Report Shows COVID Effect Dissipating

Although billed as an annual look-back, the U.S. Department of Justice Criminal Division’s Fraud Section annual report provides important insight for individuals, entities, and their lawyers as to where the Fraud Section is setting its sights for 2022 and beyond.

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Although billed as an annual look-back, the U.S. Department of Justice Criminal Division’s Fraud Section annual report provides important insight for individuals, entities, and their lawyers as to where the Fraud Section is setting its sights for 2022 and beyond. Released last month, the statistics in the 2021 report reflect that any lingering effects from the pandemic on white-collar prosecutions are rapidly dissipating and the Fraud Section is staffed and ready to continue its focus on prosecuting white-collar fraud. Perhaps the biggest takeaway from the 2021 report is its implicit reiteration of the age-old adage that where the money goes, so does fraud — and DOJ enforcement efforts. Expect the Fraud Section to continue to focus its resources on combating fraud in areas where federal spending is most pronounced: health care, procurement, and, at least recently, COVID-19 relief. And, while there were fewer blockbuster Foreign Corrupt Practices Act resolutions in 2021, we expect that large FCPA cases will return over the next few years as the Fraud Section both rebuilds its pipeline and brings investigations begun right before and during the pandemic to a close.

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