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Net Net: Promoting innovation and managing change

Top Wall Street cop: Heads are going to roll

Preet Bharara
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Manhattan U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara argued Monday that the government had gone too easy on corporations in recent years, and that corporate felony charges could be in the offing.

"You can expect before too long a significant financial institution will be charged with a felony or made to plead guilty to a felony where the conduct warrants it," Bharara said at the Securities Industry and Financial Markets Association annual compliance and legal society seminar in Orlando, Fla.

Invoking prosecutors' widespread hesitancy to file criminal charges since the accounting firm Arthur Andersen went out of business after being indicted in 2002, he added that "the pendulum has swung too far" toward what he called "a presumption of prosecutorial immunity" on the part of corporations.