One one hand, for example, there are truly petty crimes that effect almost nobody, but the 'criminal' is subject to spending an entire life in prison.
The American Civil Liberties Union, has reported that more than 3,200 people were serving life in prison without parole for nonviolent crimes. Among these villains is a person who siphoned gasoline from a truck. Another of the criminal activities resulting in life without parole was shop-lifting 3 belts from a department store. The list of such dasterdly criminals deserving of spending the rest of life in prison is very long and the media is filled with these examples.
The bigger the crime, the less likely the guilty will go to jail. For some of the most atrocious crimes the guilty simply pay a fine and walk away to repeat the crime.
Senior officials at Angola prison refused to allow the Guardian to speak to Jackson, on grounds that it might upset his victims – even though his crime was victim-less. But his sister Loretta Lumar did speak to the Guardian. “This doesn't make sense to me. I know people who have killed people, and they get a lesser sentence. That doesn't make sense to me right there. You can take a life and get 15 or 16 years. He takes a jacket worth $159 and will stay in jail forever. He didn't kill the jacket!”
Out of Control – New Report Exposes JPMorgan Chase as Mostly a Criminal Enterprise
by David Dayen
It’s hard to summarize all of the documented instances in this report of JPM has been breaking the law, but here’s my best shot. I try to keep up on these matters, and yet some of these I’m learning about for the first time:
Bank Secrecy Act violations;
Money laundering for drug cartels;
Violations of sanction orders against Cuba, Iran, Sudan, and former Liberian strongman Charles Taylor;
Violations related to the Vatican Bank scandal (get on this, Pope Francis!);
Violations of the Commodities Exchange Act;
Failure to segregate customer funds (including one CFTC case where the bank failed to segregate $725 million of its own money from a $9.6 billion account) in the US and UK;
Knowingly executing fictitious trades where the customer, with full knowledge of the bank, was on both sides of the deal;
Various SEC enforcement actions for misrepresentations of CDOs and mortgage-backed securities;
The AG settlement on foreclosure fraud;
The OCC settlement on foreclosure fraud;
Violations of the Servicemembers Civil Relief Act;
Illegal flood insurance commissions;
Fraudulent sale of unregistered securities;
Illegal increases of overdraft penalties;
Violations of federal ERISA laws as well as those of the state of New York;
Municipal bond market manipulations and acts of bid-rigging, including violations of the Sherman Anti-Trust Act;
Filing of unverified affidavits for credit card debt collections (“as a result of internal control failures that sound eerily similar to the industry’s mortgage servicing failures and foreclosure abuses”);
Energy market manipulation that triggered FERC lawsuits;
“Artificial market making” at Japanese affiliates;
Shifting trading losses on a currency trade to a customer account;
Fraudulent sales of derivatives to the city of Milan, Italy;
Obstruction of justice (including refusing the release of documents in the Bernie Madoff case as well as the case of Peregrine Financial)... And, exhale.
Senators Suck Up to Jamie Dimon, Get Paid for It
The head of America’s biggest bank testified before Congress on Wednesday, and demonstrated who is really in charge.
By George Zornick
A vast majority of the Senators at Wednesday’s hearing repeatedly praised Dimon’s wisdom and executive acuity while politely soliciting his opinion on how he thought his own bank should be regulated.
The truth is that 550 or 925 million dollars to a huge bank is virtually nothing. It is the cost of doing business for a business that nets billions of dollars.
The crime spree on Wall Street that led to the global Great Recession was estimated to have thrown 64 million additional people into extreme poverty --
A poor mugger killing someone over a wallet is serious crime, whereas a worker killed due to the corporate employer's criminal actions is considered 'accidental'. It is very rare for managment or owners to be held responsible for any deaths. Spreading deadly pollution, making unsafe consumer products, pricing Americans out of health care, are but a few examples of 'criminal acts threatening the lives of ordinary Americans.
None of the petty criminals have committed nearly the number of crimes committed by JPMorgan whose list of crimes is nearly endless. For more on serial criminal activities, see Corporate Rap Sheet Citigroup.
And yet, certain crooks are regarded as heroes in congress and the laws are written to protect their illegal activities and to keep them out of prison.
There’s only one reason why Jamie Dimon isn’t sitting in a jail cell today, and that’s because he holds the amulet of protection in America, namely a position of wealth and power.