Most prosecutor’s offices handle many investigations that vary in size, complexity, and social importance. Therefore, devoting appropriate resources to more significant investigations will help ensure high-quality investigations and maximize desired outcomes. To make effective decisions regarding resources and priorities, Federal Prosecutors, District Attorneys, State Attorneys, or their designees identify matters having potential social significance, which are deemed priority matters.

There are some considerations prosecutors have when ranking the prosecution of an investigation, specifically one involving the use of cryptocurrency, and prosecutors may consider one or more criteria, including but not limited to the following:

  • Whether the matter presents an opportunity to send a particularly strong and effective message of deterrence, including concerning markets, products, and transactions that are newly developing or long-established but which by their nature present limited opportunities to detect wrongdoing thus to deter misconduct.
  • Whether the matter involves particularly egregious or extensive misconduct.
  • Whether the matter involves potentially widespread and extensive harm to investors or the public in general.
  • Whether the matter involves misconduct by persons occupying positions of substantial authority or responsibility or who owe fiduciary or other enhanced duties and obligations to a broad group of investors or others.
  • Whether the matter involves potential wrongdoing as prohibited under newly-enacted legislation or regulatory rules.
  • Whether the potential misconduct occurred in connection with products, markets, transactions, or practices that pose particularly significant risks for investors or a systemically important sector of the market.
  • Whether the matter involves a substantial number of potential victims and/or particularly vulnerable victims.
  • Whether the matter involves products, markets, transactions, practices, or other activities that have been identified as priority areas.
  • Whether the matter provides an opportunity to pursue priority interests shared by other law enforcement agencies on a coordinated basis.

Although determining the priority of an investigation may consider the above factors, the ranking of an investigation is a judgment based on all of the facts and circumstances are known to date.


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