When Justice Dept. Lets Wall Street Off the Hook Crime Victims Pay
The Forgotten Victims
By Jim Kirwan
“When the Justice Department goes easy on Wall Street, battered women pay the price.”
By David Dayen November 17, 2016
Illustration by Hanna Barczyk
“Ever since Wall Street bankers cratered the global economy in 2009, federal prosecutors have barely been able to keep up with the unprecedented scale of corporate wrongdoing. Last year, in a series of high-profile settlements, Citicorp, JPMorgan Chase, Barclays, and the Royal Bank of Scotland agreed to pay more than $2.5 billion in criminal fines for manipulating the exchange rates on foreign currencies. Credit Suisse forked over $1.1 billion for helping its wealthy clients evade taxes. And the Justice Department ripped up an earlier settlement with UBS and fined the Swiss bank more than $200 million for rigging interest rates.
As critics have pointed out, such penalties are little more than chump change for Wall Street, especially compared to the enormous profits that big banks have raked in from their criminal activities. But even if the punishment doesn’t fit the crime, the record-setting fines levied by the Justice Department are still flooding federal coffers with billions of new dollars. Which raises the question: Where is all the money going?
The answer, it turns out, is the Crime Victims Fund, a little-known pool of money created during the law-and-order push of the 1980s to assist victims of crime, much of it violent. All criminal fines paid by individuals or corporations are deposited directly into the fund, which in turn flows to states to support individual victims and the organizations that assist them: battered women’s shelters, counseling centers for abused children, families who lost their primary breadwinners to murder, victims left permanently disabled by violent assaults. America’s biggest corporate criminals, in short, are paying to help the victims of other criminals. Thanks to a wave of big-dollar settlements with banks and pharmaceutical companies, the Crime Victims Fund ballooned from approximately $3 billion at the end of 2009 to almost $12 billion by the end of 2014.”
“The problem is, the fund only receives money from criminal fines. And in most cases, the Justice Department has been letting big banks and other corporate criminals off the hook with civil settlements and deferred prosecution agreements. Those settlements, instead of going into the Crime Victims Fund, mostly get handed over to the Treasury to reduce the deficit. Of the $23 billion in fines the Justice Department collected last year, in fact, only $2.6 billion made its way into the Crime Victims Fund. That means the feds aren’t just letting banks and top executives off easy for defrauding customers—they’re shortchanging victims of murder, sexual assault, and child abuse.”
“Unfortunately, the way Congress set up the fund effectively makes much of the money off-limits to crime victims. As criminal prosecutions have increased in recent years, the fund has grown to record levels. Because deposits into the fund can vary wildly from year to year based on criminal settlements, Congress caps the amount the fund can disperse on an annual basis, leaving money for leaner times. The cap was initially set at $500 million. As the fund has expanded, Congress has gradually raised the cap—up to $745 million in 2014, then to $2.4 billion in 2015. But that still leaves a huge unspent sum that service organizations desperately need to support crime victims. “There’s $9 billion sitting there with a specific purpose in mind,” says Meg Garvin, executive director of the National Crime Victim Law Institute. “Meanwhile, victim services can’t pay their rent.”
That huge reserve of cash, however, has turned out to be too big a temptation for Congress to resist. Last year, for the first time, lawmakers raided the fund, taking $1.5 billion from crime victims to help pay for their own spending measures. And the looting has continued. This year, Congress plans to divert $379 million from the fund to support programs designed to curb violence against women—a worthy cause, but one that is supposed to receive its own funding. Other proposals would transfer 5 percent of grants from the fund to tribal governments, or commandeer a portion of the money to support a Republican move to rein in the Justice Department. “A lot of programs that represent different areas would like to get their slice of the fund,” Derene says.”
There’s much more in the full story…
The project was commissioned in 1978 by The California Attorney General, The California & the National District Attorney’s Association’s in cooperation with
The California Chamber of Commerce
I furnished the art, quid pro-Quo,
so long as the work was used only to further The Forgotten Victims of Violent Crime no “use” was granted for political purposes,
to any of the corresponding agencies or individuals.
However as this 2016 article clearly shows, the government and these agencies clearly broke every part of that agreement with me, for the work.
The Index for the project
is in the 7th row down…
Here’s the California Attorney General’s ‘s letter that shows his misuse
of the art in his campaign to for Governor which he won in 1982.
Some of his campaign shots are in the link beside the image above.
When ‘Duke’ went back to press in D.C. to use this project to gain noteriaity for his gubernatorial campaign, I called The White House
to protest vehemently the violation of all the terms of my agreements with the Attorney General at the time, in tandem with The Reagan Campaign for president which of course terminated my volunteer services
with the California Department of Justice and the unsubtle involvement of the Reagan Campaign for the White House.
Now that the true nature of this “project” has finally been made crystal-clear, it’s way past time that the outlaws involved in this massive fraud are held to account: Because in the end it was the innocent people and the literal victims that were clearly ‘RAPED” in this clandestine theft of the money that was supposedly being raised for the Victims of Violent Crime, but who were violated Again and Again by this “Lawless-System”, time and time again…
“No one of any importance has spent time in jail for the massive fraud that the Justice Department outlines in horrifying detail in deferred prosecution agreements,” says Bart Naylor, a financial policy advocate for the nonprofit consumer rights group Public Citizen. “Not only does this invite more crooks into this risk-free racket, it deprives crime victims of any relief.”
When the Crime Victims Fund was established in 1984 as part of the Victims of Crime Act, few lawmakers in Washington resisted the chance to help sympathetic crime victims. A task force appointed by President Ronald Reagan heard from crime survivors who suffered from deep psychological trauma and crippling medical bills. Disabled assault victims lost their means of support. Others had trouble getting time off from work to testify against their tormentors, or struggled to return to everyday life, plunging them into financial distress. Even navigating assistance programs required experienced help. The main sponsors of the victims fund were Strom Thurmond, the archconservative senator, and Peter Rodino, the liberal congressman.
“In an era of Reaganism and budget constraints, it was an extremely bipartisan initiative,” says Steve Derene, executive director of the national association of state agencies that administer the fund.
Unfortunately, the way Congress set up the fund effectively makes much of the money off-limits to crime victims. As criminal prosecutions have increased in recent years, the fund has grown to record levels. Because deposits into the fund can vary wildly from year to year based on criminal settlements, Congress caps the amount the fund can disperse on an annual basis, leaving money for leaner times. The cap was initially set at $500 million. As the fund has expanded, Congress has gradually raised the cap—up to $745 million in 2014, then to $2.4 billion in 2015. But that still leaves a huge unspent sum that service organizations desperately need to support crime victims. “There’s $9 billion sitting there with a specific purpose in mind,” says Meg Garvin, executive director of the National Crime Victim Law Institute. “Meanwhile, victim services can’t pay their rent.”
In the end I was screwed royally by all of them as well.
“TERRORISM” was part of this program too, back in 1979. It was a major part of this government sponsored program, at least a decade BEFORE ‘Terrorism’ became a ‘reality’. This happened because the Reagan Administration demanded that it be ‘included” And this happened three years before Ronnie became “president” – DO THE MATH…
My Comment: With all this cash sitting in the Crime Victim’s Slush Fund Florida recently reduced the amount a victim can collect for a violent crime from $12,500 to $7,500-a $5,000 cut for one individual. Where is all the money going?