Episode 233 — Tom Fox and Mike Volkov Discuss DOJ Criminal Trial Wins, Losses and Stumbles

Federal prosecutors know that their job – to represent the United States – is the highlight of their legal career. Speaking from experience, federal prosecutors are a privileged lot – they can announce in court they represent the United States. It is a heady experience and an absolute privilege. 

It is hard not to repeat the Spiderman quote, “With great power comes great responsibility” – but prosecutors know they carry the weight when it comes to winning criminal trials. DOJ successes ebb and flow, and it is often interesting to take stock of a trend. In recent months, DOJ prosecutors have had some major success and some significant losses. When this occurs, DOJ has to take a moment and question are they bring the right cases? 

Some messages have been clear – DOJ bungled the Boeing safety scandal prosecution and made a terrible mistake by pinning the Boeing fiasco on a single individual. That was a missed opportunity and a terrible mistake. The jury spoke in unvarnished truth when it acquitted the Technical Director for what was obviously an organizational failure that was the fault of the CEO, the board and certain senior executives. Prosecutors did not commit to conducting a true in the dirt investigation and instead outsourced to big law firms who were never going to commit to a detailed organized crime, step-by-step investigation.

On the other hand, DOJ has had two major victories – Elizabeth Holmes for her major Theranos fraud scheme and Roger Ng for the 1 MDB Goldman Sachs corruption scandal.

The Antitrust Division, however, has been stumbling in its criminal trials. It lost its first wage-fixing trial in the labor market and has been stuck in a multi-defendant criminal trial against poultry executives for a price-fixing conspiracy in the chicken production industry.

In this Episode, Tom Fox and Mike Volkov review DOJ’s recent criminal trial wins, losses and stumbles.

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