New emphasis for Virginia's 'rocket docket': Financial fraud
U.S. Attorney Neil MacBride announced today the formation of a financial crimes task force based in the Eastern District of Virginia, bringing together civil and criminal authorities from the Securities and Exchange Commission, the U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission, the FBI and the Virginia Attorney General's Office, among others.
At a Richmond news conference, MacBride described the task force as a "boots on the ground" outgrowth of a national task force designed to beef up investigation of financial fraud announced by President Obama last year in response to the financial crisis.
"We believe the Eastern District has some unique benefits in terms of the ability to bring cases here that are national in scope, where the victims may reside in dozens of states, where the bad guys may reside in different places, and we have the ability to charge those cases here," MacBride.
He said the task force would focus not just on crimes where Virginians have been victimized but on allegations of fraud by major national companies with victims all over the country. Traditionally, such investigations have been helmed largely by the U.S. attorneys in New York and Chicago, home to stock and commodity markets. But MacBride noted a federal court ruling that gives his office jurisdiction to prosecute any publicly traded company that files SEC reports through the Virginia-based Edgar system.
Bringing major fraud cases in Virginia would let the Justice Department take advantage of the district's "rocket docket," which has a reputation for swift justice not always available in other parts of the country.
MacBride said he could not disclose whether the task force has investigations in the pipeline but, he promised aggressive civil and criminal investigations to come.
May 21, 2010; 11:50 AM ET
Categories: Barack Obama , Ken Cuccinelli , Rosalind Helderman
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