Damp Squib: The Disappointing Denouement of the Sentencing Commission's Economic Crime Project (And What They Should Do Now)
26 Pages Posted: 1 Sep 2015 Last revised: 2 Sep 2015
Date Written: June 1, 2015
In early 2015, the U.S. Sentencing Commission culminated a multi-year study of the federal economic crime guidelines by promulgating a number of guidelines amendments to take effect on November 1, 2015.
Though adopted with the best intentions, these amendments fail to address adequately the principal complaints made over the past decade or so about federal economic crime sentencing. In particular, the Commission failed to take seriously the very real problem of excessive guideline ranges for high-loss economic crime defendants.
This article, which builds on testimony I gave to the Sentencing Commission in February 2015, (a) describes the historical roots and current causes of the high-end distortion of the fraud guidelines, (b) demonstrates that the 2015 amendments fail to solve or even materially ease the problem, and (c) make some concrete suggestions for bringing the guidelines for high-loss offenders into the sphere of practical utility.
Keywords: criminal law, criminal justice, crime, sentencing, criminal sentencing, federal sentencing, Federal Sentencing Guidelines, U.S. Sentencing Commission, white collar crime, economic crime, guidelines amendments, fraud, fraud sentencing, fraud guidelines, loss, loss table, 2B1.1
JEL Classification: K1, K14, K22, K41, K42
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation