You would think they were common criminals. In growing numbers, Wall Street and other financial criminals are now facing the indignities of being on the receiving end of investigative tactics by US law enforcement agents that many probably thought were only for mobsters, drug traffickers, terrorists and their ilk. The days of wine and roses for white collar criminals are at an end.
The use of wiretaps in all federal criminal cases has increased greatly in recent years. The Administrative Office of the US Courts, which files an annual report with Congress on federal and state wiretap authorizations, as required by the Omnibus Crime Control and Safe Streets Act of 1968, said in its 2010 report, the most recent one that 3,194 wiretaps were authorized that year. That is a 34% increase over the 2,376 wiretaps in 2009, and 135% more than 2002, when there were 1,358. The 2011 report is due later this month.