Some of the world’s most malignant criminals never pulled a trigger or detonated an explosive, but they have ruined countless lives. By the most conservative estimates, white-collar crime costs the U.S. $300 billion per year—more than four times the annual budget of the Department of Education. However, in 2017, the prosecution of white-collar crime was at a 20-year low. So why do crimes such as insider trading, embezzlement, predatory lending, Ponzi schemes, and threat financing often go unpunished?
Armed with elite legal teams and well-heeled lobbyists, many white-collar criminals seem untouchable or “too big to jail.” But are they really? The Follow the Money series explores various types of financial crimes and interviews experts in the field on how to bring these robber barons to justice.
Some of the most devastating crimes of the 21st century have not taken place in a dark alley, but rather in an air-conditioned office with a fountain pen. A conservative estimate puts the cost of white-collar crime at over $250 billion each year, while others suggest it is closer to $500 billion.
Money laundering investigations have busted kingpins of international criminal organizations, prevented terrorists from carrying out attacks, exposed double agent spies, and even contributed to the resignation of a United States president.
Barry is Managing Editor of ForensicsColleges.com, operated by educational web publisher Sechel Ventures Partners LLC, which he co-founded. Barry was previously VP for a financial software company, and currently sits on the board of a K-8 school and lives with his wife and daughters in the San Francisco Bay Area.