Join Occupy the SEC in Urging the Congress to Oppose H.R. 4002 (“Criminal Code Improvement Act of 2015”)!

Yves here. I hope you’ll sign this petition. I did. And it would be even better if you’d visit the Occupy the SEC site, scroll to the end of the page, and give them a donation (even a wee one helps) or consider their other suggestions for how to support their work.

By Occupy the SEC. Originally posted at their website

Please sign our petition urging the Congress to reject H.R.4002 (inaccurately entitled the “Criminal Code Improvement Act of 2015”)

Congress is currently considering several bills that would overhaul and improve our criminal justice system by reducing mandatory minimum sentences and promoting rehabilitation instead of punishment. The push for criminal justice reform enjoys both bipartisan support and popular support among the American populace.

Unfortunately, the Koch Brothers and their cronies are trying to latch onto this momentum for their own purposes. The House is currently considering the Koch-backed H.R. 4002 (sponsored by Rep. James Sensenbrenner [R-WI-5]), a bill that which would serve as a “Get Out of Jail Free” card for white collar criminals. 

The bill would require federal prosecutors to prove that a white collar defendant acted with intent in cases where federal law does not currently specify a required mental state. This means that white collar criminals would be able to evade punishment for a host of crimes, EVEN IF they acted with negligence, gross negligence, or recklessness.

Federal prosecutors already face grave difficulty is proving intent for corporate misdeeds because culpable criminal conduct is often hidden deep within the corporate veil, underneath layers of management, boards and bureaucracy. The Great Recession of 2008 is a telling example of federal prosecutors’ inability to punish corporate wrongdoing. Malfeasance on Wall Street produced a financial crisis that extinguished nearly 40% of family wealth from 2007 to 2010, pushing the household net worth back to 1992 levels. Despite these appalling statistics, not even ONE executive at a major Wall Street bank was criminally charged for playing a role in the 2008 global financial collapse. Everyday Americans were forced to pay the price for rampant speculation, mismanagement and fraud on Wall Street. 

H.R. 4002 would make it even more difficult for prosecutors to punish white collar crime. And criminals would be emboldened to take further advantage of shareholders, employees, consumers, and the public.

Even the Department of Justice, which has been notoriously lax in prosecuting white collar criminals, has lambasted H.R. 4002, observing that the bill would weaken countless federal statutes that currently protect the public from dangers like unsafe food and medicine.

We need Congress to stand in favor of the American people not corporate America. Please click on the following petition to ask your Congressional representatives to oppose H.R. 4002.

You can also retweet our twitter posting on the petition.

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  1. financial matters

    “the reality is that much of the value extraction that has enriched those at the top has to do with (legal) manipulation of stock prices (Lazonick 2013). Minsky was correct to worry about the increasing reliance on the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), because rule changes promulgated by that agency have been extremely important in the process of handing control of the value extraction process over to the top management of firms (Lazonick and Mazzucato 2013).”

    Mission Oriented Finance

      1. John Zelnicker

        I’ve just received an automated reply from my congressman, Bradley Byrne, saying he will respond in the near future.

        I look forward to seeing what kind of high-flying rhetoric he uses to justify this bill.

  2. Skorn

    Thanks Yves for giving this evil bill the attention it deserves, and a quick means to take action. Sent.

  3. dimmsdale

    Yes, thanks for the opportunity to send the letters, too. Already an automatic response from Sen. Gillibrand; it’ll be interesting to see what I get back from the odious Schumer.

Comments are closed.