World Entering ‘New Era' Of Global Crime, DOJ Official Says

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By Yin Wilczek

June 15 — The world is facing a “new era” of “crime on a global scale,” a senior Justice Department official said June 15.

“Today, transnational criminal enterprises and global corporate misconduct are the new standard,” said Assistant Attorney General Leslie Caldwell, who heads the DOJ's Criminal Division.

Caldwell added that to combat transnational wrongdoing, the DOJ is engaging in “evolving approaches” with its global counterparts, which already are yielding “significant successes.”

The DOJ's most recent success from this collaborative approach in the financial fraud area is the admissions by five major financial institutions in May that they rigged the foreign exchange spot market, Caldwell said, speaking at a global fraud conference in Baltimore.

Major Wall Street Players 

The DOJ May 20 announced that Barclays PLC, Citicorp, JPMorgan Chase & Co. and the Royal Bank of Scotland plc agreed to pay more than $2.5 billion in criminal fines for conspiring to manipulate the price of U.S. dollars and euros exchanged in the foreign currency exchange spot market.

A fifth bank—UBS AG—agreed to pay a $203 million criminal penalty for rigging the London Interbank Offered Rate and other benchmarks, the DOJ said.

Caldwell suggested that the two primary causes for the increase in cross-border crime are worldwide use of the Internet, and the global expansion of companies and the resultant interconnectedness of economies.

Emphasis on International Cooperation 

Caldwell said the DOJ's strategy for combatting transnational crime includes:

• increasing cooperation with foreign law enforcers to investigate criminal activity by global financial institutions and corporations;

• helping foreign counterparts to build international law enforcement capacity; and

• increasing efforts to use U.S. civil forfeiture actions to recover the proceeds of foreign official corruption that pass through the U.S.


“This is all to say that cybercrime, organized crime, corruption and financial fraud are now international problems that can be effectively addressed only by international enforcement partnerships,” she said.

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To contact the editor responsible for this story: Ryan Tuck at

Text of the speech is available at