Top Official Who Warned About Cross-Border ‘Criminal Enterprises’ And ‘Frivolous Libel Cases’ To Mask Them Is Leaving Justice Department

Deputy Attorney General James M. Cole, the No. 2 official at the U.S. Justice Department, is leaving after four years, Attorney General Eric Holder confirmed in a statement. (Holder also is leaving, a topic for another day.)

Cole said something in Mexico City at the High-Level Hemispheric Meeting Against Transnational Organized Crime in March 2012 that is as important today as it was on the day the words were spoken.

Indeed, Cole said on March 1, 2012, “Because of the sophistication of the world economy, organized crime groups have developed an ability to exploit legitimate actors and their skills in order to further the criminal enterprises. For example, transnational organized criminal groups often rely on lawyers to facilitate illicit transactions. These lawyers create shell companies, open offshore bank accounts in the names of those shell companies, and launder criminal proceeds through trust accounts. Other lawyers working for organized crime figures bring frivolous libel cases against individuals who expose their criminal activities.”

And Cole also said this: “The advance of globalization and the internet, while hugely beneficial to people everywhere, has also created unparalleled opportunities for criminals to expand their operations and use the facilities of global communication and commerce to carry out their criminal activities across national borders.”

We wish Deputy Attorney General Cole the best and thank him for his dedicated service to his country.


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