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DOJ lauds corporate fraud prosecution record

[JURIST] The US Department of Justice's Corporate Fraud Task Force [official website] has obtained 1,236 corporate fraud convictions since its establishment five years ago, and has obtained more than one billion dollars [press release] in fines and restitutions, the DOJ said Tuesday. Attorney General Alberto Gonzales praised the work of the task force [speech text] for helping "to create an environment where honest businesses can compete and thrive" and emphasized the "wide-spread deterrent effect triggered by the tireless and thorough efforts of the Task Force." The DOJ says that it has convicted 214 corporate CEOs and presidents, including high profile corporate entities such as Enron, Qwest, Adelphia, WorldCom, Imclone [JURIST news archives] and others.

Gonzales also indicated Tuesday that the government is likely to appeal the ruling that led to Monday's dismissal of charges [opinion, PDF; JURIST report] against 13 of 16 defendants in the DOJ's ongoing criminal tax shelter case [JURIST report] against former employees of the accounting firm KPMG [corporate website]. The KPMG dismissals stem from a ruling that federal prosecutors violated the constitutional rights of defendants [JURIST report] by pressuring KPMG not to pay for the defendants' legal fees. AP has more.

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