Ex-Wall Street Chieftains Living Large in Post-Meltdown World
September 11, 2013
Jordan A. Thomas was quoted in a recent article regarding the fifth anniversary of the 2008 financial crisis
Since that time, the Justice Department has walked back those statements and assured lawmakers and the public that they have aggressively investigated and pursued any criminal acts related to the financial crisis. The hurdle, officials say, is that to prove a crime, they must prove intent. That means if the government wanted to bring charges against any of the CEOs of the companies that led the nation to financial disaster, prosecutors would have to prove to a jury beyond a reasonable doubt that these individuals intended to commit fraud.
"They tend to have to work in a much more black and white misconduct universe," said Jordan Thomas, a former lawyer for the SEC who worked with Justice on many financial fraud cases. Proving criminal misconduct is such a high hurdle that the government has resorted mostly to civil charges, where the burden of proof is lower. That doesn't mean, Thomas says, that nobody did anything wrong.
"The financial crisis had bad guys everywhere," he said.