Prosecutors have always had limited resources:
Reader comment on: Jed Rakoff's Speech
Submitted by Lyle (United States), Dec 6, 2013 19:36
I contend because the resources are not adaquate to prosecute all crimes, the prosecutors tend to cases they know they can win. The law on insider trading is well established, with few suprises likely on appeal. Much of Sarbanes Oxley and the like have not been through the appeal wringer to figure out what the law actually means. Due to the limited resources, from the prosecutors' point of view its better to go after the cases that can be won easily.
I suspect after the failure of the case against the Bear Stearns fund managers, prosecutors decided the cases would be to complex for a jury of 12 random folks to understand, so they went for insider trading which is easier to understand.
In many respects it is likely easier to go after the exec's licenses and the like with civil proceeding since the burden of proof is less. In the securities field it appears that you can also permanently bar a person from participating in the financial industry.
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