Federal White Collar Crime: Six Case Studies Drawn from Ongoing Prosecutions to Protect Public Health, Worker and Consumer Safety, and the Environment, CPR Issue Alert 1507, by Rena Steinzor, November 2015.
Prosecutors have long neglected to hold corporate executives accountable for chronic mistakes that kill and injure workers and customers. Rena Steinzor's first-of-its-kind book analyzes five industrial catastrophes that have killed or sickened consumers and workers or caused irrevocable harm to the environment. From the Texas City refinery explosion to the Upper Big Branch mine collapse to the destruction of the Deepwater Horizon oil rig and extending to incidents of food and drug contamination that have killed or injured hundreds, the root causes of these preventable disasters include crimes of commission and omission. In accessible and jargon-free language, Steinzor recommends innovative interpretations of existing laws to elevate the prosecution of white-collar crime at the federal and state levels.
Writing on the Center for American Progress website, Sophisticated Sabotage authors Sidney Shapiro and Thomas McGarity observe that because landmark environmental, health and safety laws are broadly supported by the public, "polluting industries have sought to stymie regulation in ways that hide their efforts."
Writing for the Huffington Post, Rena Steinzor and Dan Dudis point to a recent wave of corporate criminality -- from the Wells Fargo fake account scandal to the Volkswagen scheme to evade air pollution standards -- and call for criminal prosecutions of companies and their leaders.
Writing for Huffington Post and ACSBlog, Renat Steinzor observes that, in the wake of a series of accidents related to a defective ignition switch in GM cars, the "Department of Justice has opened a criminal investigation into GM’s conduct and the next attorney general will decide whether and how to charge the company. President Obama’s nominee, Loretta Lynch, will need to make a break with the misguided policies of her predecessor, Eric Holder, when the GM case hits her desk."