112th Congress (2011-2012)

It seems that Congress introduces a new criminal offense nearly every day and frequently those offenses are poorly drafted, lacking an adequate mens rea requirement, or duplicative of existing criminal law. Active tracking of white collar-related government legislation and activity forms a cornerstone of our mission: To develop timely and effective responses to relevant legislation, both through our own membership and through coalition-building. This page details white collar-related criminal legislation of particular concern from the 112th Congress. Each listing includes a description of the bill and select related resources.

Bill Summaries

S. 401 & S. 995, the "Public Prosecution Improvements Act of 2011" and the "Public Officials Accountability Act" - These bill seek to implement a massive number of changes to various federal criminal statutes, including the mail and wire fraud statutes, the bribery and illegal gratuities statutes, and other public corruption offenses.  In addition, the bill seeks to legislatively reverse the Supreme Court's decision in the honest services fraud case United States v. Skilling. ...more 

H.R. 1793 & H.R. 2572, the "Clean Up Government Act of 2011" - Introduced by Rep. Sensenbrenner (R-WI), these bills would make myriad changes to Title 18 of the U.S. Code to expand the scope of a number of federal criminal laws targeting fraud, theft, bribery, embezzlement, racketeering, and other forms of so-called public corruption. The bills would also increase the criminal penalties for certain public corruption offenses, expand the federal venue provisions for a wide range of federal offenses (including perjury and obstruction of justice), and broaden the applicability of the federal wiretap authorization statute. ...more   

S. 1483 & H.R. 3416, the "Incorporation Transparency and Law Enforcement Assistance Act" - These bills seek to amend the Homeland Security Act of 2002 by forcing states to amend their incorporation laws to require new corporations and LLCs to provide a list of the business’s “beneficial owners” and to require businesses to update their filings within 60 days of any change in beneficial ownership information.  The proposed legislation would create four new federal criminal offenses. ...more   

S. 2062 & H.R. 4171, the "FOCUS Act of 2012" - The “Freedom from Over-criminalization and Unjust Seizures Act of 2012” (FOCUS Act) seeks to reform the Lacey Act by substituting the Lacey Act’s criminal penalties with civil penalties and removing the Act’s reliance on foreign laws as the basis for determining violations.  S. 2062, introduced in February 2012 by Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY), and H.R. 4171, introduced by Rep. Paul C. Broun (R-GA) in March 2012, are identical companion bills. ...more   

S. 2197, the "Fairness in Disclosure of Evidence Act of 2012" - Nearly fifty years ago, in Brady v. Maryland, 373 U.S. 83 (1963), the U.S. Supreme Court held if you are accused of a crime, you have the constitutional right to all information in the government's possession that is favorable to your case.  Introduced by Sen. Murkowski (R-Alaska) and Sen. Inouye (D-Hawaii), the bipartisan "Fairness in Disclosure of Evidence Act of 2012" provides clear and meaningful standards governing the prosecution's duty to disclose any and all evidence that could help the accused defend her case. ...more 


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