The Evolutionary Biology of Fungi and Fraud
John Marshall Law Journal, Vol. V, p.85, 2011
27 Pages Posted: 18 May 2011 Last revised: 14 Dec 2011
Date Written: May 16, 2011
In this essay, the authors – a law professor and a plant biologist – offer a fresh perspective on the use of broad federal fraud statutes to combat fraud by drawing a comparison with the use of multi-site fungicides to combat plant disease. Multi-site fungicides are effective at preventing the evolution of resistant strains of fungi, but they are subject to increased regulatory scrutiny amid concerns about off-target toxicity. Similarly, broad fraud statutes serve as a stopgap to prevent the evolution of new types of fraud, but they are widely criticized as unduly vague and as interfering with the operation of specific fraud statutes. Plant biologists’ successful alternatives to multi-site fungicides inform the discussion of alternative ways to combat fraud that avoid the problems associated with broad fraud statutes.
Keywords: mail fraud, wire fraud, white collar crime, legislation
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