In an interview published today in Corporate Crime Reporter, Davis Polk Partner Neil MacBride On the Shift of Prosecutorial Power from New York to DC, NAFUSA member Neil MacBride, who served as the United States Attorney for the ED of Virginia 2009-2013, talks about his perception that the center of the corporate crime universe is shifting from New York to Washington and northern Virginia.
In MacBride’s view, a paradigm shift occurred in the national security area with 9/11and the Patriot Act and other statutes began to tear down artificial walls and federal agencies began to share information. According to MacBride, the shift spilled over into the enforcement and regulatory space.
The result has been a consolidation of enforcement authority in Washington. You have this proliferation of regulatory and enforcement agencies that just didn’t exist a decade ago.
When I was U.S. Attorney, I created the Virginia Financial Securities Fraud Task Force. That brought together criminal law enforcement agencies like the FBI, the Postal Inspection Service, the IRS on the one side. And then we brought in civil regulators like the SEC, the CFTC, state securities commissions. We brought them together in a way that allowed them to share information with the goal of detecting and disrupting financial frauds when they were relatively small, before they ballooned into Madoff style billion dollar ponzi schemes.
We stole the playbook from the national security counterterrorism side and have now applied it in the financial fraud and regulatory space. Companies increasingly have a sense that the locus of power has shifted from New York to Washington and northern Virginia. The regulators and enforcers here are much more active and will soon, if they haven’t already, eclipse New York as being the center of the U.S. government’s efforts against financial fraud.
The interview also discusses the “rocket docket”in the Eastern District of Virginia- rules created to speed cases on both the civil and criminal side. MacBride also discusses his view that the pendulum is swinging back from deferred and non prosecution agreements toward more guilty pleas in corporate cases. He is also quoted on the “rocket docket” in the July 15th posting of Legal Bisnow (DC).