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Tuesday, August 11, 2015

At the Daily Dot is an important account of how the feds "abused" the Sarbanes-Oxley Act to prosecute an innocent associate of the brothers who perpetrated the Boston Marathon bombings:

He was charged, as others have been in similar cases, under the Sarbanes-Oxley Act. SOX, as it's known, was a direct response to the corporate abuses of firms like Enron, which destroyed untold accounting records and documentation to avoid culpability for federal crimes. Under the law, people are required to preserve any evidence they knowingly believe could be used in future investigations, even if no such investigation has been launched.
(Note my reason for putting "abuse" in scare quotes: I regard government regulation of the financial sector as an abuse of government power in the first place.) The piece goes on to note that this legal trick has many negative implications, such as making possible witnesses to crimes reluctant to come forward, and being unnecessary in the first place. ("[T]here are already precedents for charging people with destruction of evidence or evidence tampering.") Regarding the latter, one could say the same for fraud in relation to the whole of Sarbanes-Oxley.

I recommend reading the entire piece.

-- CAV

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