Abbott Accused of Spending Too Much to Arm White Collar Crime Unit

In a recent editorial, the Dallas Morning News said that the Texas Attorney General’s Office is spending too much to arm and train a plainclothes police force to fight white collar crime.

According to the article, Texas Governor Greg Abbott, who served as Texas AG for 14 years before being elected governor, oversaw “a dramatic escalation of policing firepower” in the AG’s office. Its police force is now up to 160 peace officers, who have each been outfitted with assault rifles, handguns and other tactical gear typically used in fighting street crime, not white collar crime.

“Highly complex investigations are not really assisted by firepower and Kevlar,” said former Assistant Attorney General Rod Boyles, a former deputy director in the Medicaid Fraud Control Unit, which houses 115 investigators. “It’s straight, white-collar stuff, and your defendants are typically businessmen and businesswomen.”

The AG’s police force are held to the same training standards as Texas Rangers and other state law enforcement agencies, even though their job entails pursuing white collar crime such as health care fraud and securities fraud.

Boyles contends that all the training is “dumbing down” investigations because less time is spent following paper trails while more time is spent at the shooting range or K-9 training classes, for instance.

“We actually do nothing,” he said. “We spend so much time just doing standard peace officer training, firearms training, safety training. It’s peace officer training. It’s not related to finding fraud or even knowing what a false claim is.”

The Cogdell Law Firm is a boutique law firm focusing on large, complex business and criminal financial-related litigation, including white collar criminal defense, securities fraud, health care fraud investigation, criminal appeals and state criminal defense. When results matter most, contact Dan Cogdell at (713) 426-2244 or dan@cogdell-law.com.

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