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Toxic Avengers

Corporate environmental crimes are often overshadowed by higher-profile shenanigans like accounting scandals, Foreign Corrupt Practices Act conspiracies and the occasional multibillion-dollar Ponzi scheme. The fines aren't as large, at least on the criminal side, and the actors are less prominent. Middle managers are far more likely to get cuffed than anyone in the corporate suite.

Moreover, environmental enforcers don't quite have the swagger of U.S. attorneys or DAs, and they are less likely to vie for the spotlight. Theirs is a scientific, methodical game, characterized by a dogged interagency collaboration.

Multiagency Investigation

Continuity is the theme at the Environmental Crimes Section, the Justice Department's nerve center for environmental prosecution. The section's 40 lawyers are all career employees--you have to go up the org chart to deputy AG before you reach a political appointee.

Contributing Author

Steven Andersen

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