White-collar crime may be nonviolent, but it is hardly victimless. Nearly one in four American households is affected by crimes that include tax evasion, racketeering, money laundering, securities fraud, forgery, computer fraud, and other schemes. The problem costs the country well over $300 billion a year, according to the F.B.I.
Andrew Campbell’s job as a special U.S. attorney and senior assistant attorney general with the Oregon Department of Justice puts him on the front lines of the battle against white- collar crime.
One high-profile case involved William Sizemore, a gubernatorial candidate charged with felony tax evasion. Recently, he prosecuted the case of a drywall contractor who had rigged the bids in a $24 million condo project, falsified payroll records, and filed false unemployment claims. It was the first state criminal prosecution for antitrust violations in the history of Oregon.
Another case involved a cattleman who had defrauded investors who believed they were buying interests in high-end bucking bulls.
White-collar crimes are difficult to prosecute because the perpetrators are usually intelligent and take elaborate steps to avoid detection, Campbell says. They use sophisticated means to conceal their activities through a series of transactions, over a long period of time.
“I like the challenge and the complexity of it,” he says. “Once you understand the fraud and unwind it, you’re able to help a large number of victims from an entire area.”
While he occasionally prosecutes a conventional homicide case, complex white collar litigation has become Campbell’s specialty. He is in demand as an expert in the issue, often teaching seminars and speaking at law schools around the country.
An Oregon native, Campbell returned to the state after graduating from Saint Anselm and graduated from Willamette University College of Law. When not working or enjoying outdoor activities, he volunteers to mentor students at the law school.