The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) is now using behavioral profiling in hopes of targeting white-collar criminals. Agents from the Behavioral Analysis Unit (BAU) are analyzing securities fraud cases to get into the minds of white-collar criminals in the same way as serial killers and violent criminals. Infamous cases such as Bernie Madoff and Hassan Nemazee, who stole nearly $300 million from Citigroup, are some of the files agents are studying.
The FBI is eager to show that it is not soft on white-collar criminals. The agency faced criticism about the low number of criminal prosecutions in connection with the nation’s financial crisis. What began as a way to target Ponzi schemes turned into a broader examination of white-collar crimes, according to an FBI assistant special agent.
In addition, the FBI has an embedded agent working with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) in Washington D.C. The agent works with the SEC in investigating tips about potentials frauds and scams on the public.
Some doubt the effectiveness of the FBI’s profiling efforts. One Florida lawyer commented that while it is interesting from an academic standpoint, many white collar criminals have no criminal history and fit the profile of any other successful executive – charismatic, hard working, ambitious and smart.