Top white-collar criminal defense attorneys are beginning to receive steady flows of inquiries from clients embroiled in the ongoing credit crisis, the National Law Journal reported in its November 10th. issue. (Subscription)
“700 billion dollars can’t go out the door without someone going to jail,” Abbe Lowell, head of the white-collar crime defense practice section of McDermott, Will & Emery’s Washington office told the Journal, referring to the massive buyouts the federal government has already spent in the banking and mortgage industries. “There are gouing to be criminal cases made as a result of this crsis,” Lowell said. “Somewhere buried in the complexities of these transactions you’ll find people who took advantage.”
Assurances from the prosecutors’ side was also foretold. Steve Huggard, one of the partners in the white-collar crime practice area at Boston’s Edwards, Angell, Palmer & Dodge, and former chief of the public corruption & special prosecutions unit of the U.S. attorney’s office for 17 years until 2005, was quoted as having commented that “The [DOJ’s] focus will be the harm to the economy and to investors… Prosecutions often follow public sentiment and there’s a lot of anger in the country….”
Similar scenarios are occurring more locally as evidenced over the weekend by Cleveland’s Plain Dealer. A county-wide corruption probe that came to light back in July when nearly 200 federal agents raided homes and offices of several prominent politicians and businesses – depending on how the probe plays out with grand juries, indictments, and trials in the forecast -- could generate more than $10 million in legal fees by the time the case is closed.