Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein – the second-highest-ranking official at the Department of Justice – recently announced the formation of the Task Force on Market Integrity and Consumer Fraud. The announcement came at a widely publicized press conference, a signal that the Task Force ranks high on the list of the Department’s law enforcement priorities. Given the prominence of the Task Force, all businesses would be well served by understanding what it is and what it seeks to accomplish.
The Task Force has a strikingly broad mandate. According to the Presidential Executive Order that created it, the Task Force is to aid in the “investigation and prosecution of cases involving fraud on the government, the financial markets, and consumers, including cyber-fraud and other fraud targeting the elderly, service members and veterans, and other members of the public; procurement and grant fraud; securities and commodities fraud, as well as other corporate fraud, with particular attention to fraud affecting the general public; digital currency fraud; money laundering, including the recovery of proceeds; health care fraud; tax fraud; and other financial crimes.”
The membership of the Task Force further highlights the breadth of its mandate – and the importance that the Department places on it. The Task Force comprises a wide array of government officials from numerous government bodies. Its Chair is the Deputy Attorney General; its Vice Chair is the Associate Attorney General, the third-highest-ranking official at the Department. Other Department officials on the Task Force are the Assistant Attorneys General for the Criminal, Civil, Tax, and Antitrust Divisions; the Director of the FBI; and designated U.S. Attorneys. What’s more, the Task Force is to invite the participation of no fewer than eight Cabinet Secretaries, the Director of the Bureau of Consumer Financial Protection, the Chairman of the Federal Trade Commission, the Chairman of the Securities and Exchange Commission, and more than 10 other agencies, commissions, and boards.