White Collar Crime Prosecutors to Debate Wall Street, the Financial Crisis and Prosecutorial Underreach

Two high-profile former prosecutors will debate Wall Street, the financial crisis and prosecutorial underreach as part of the next Hot Topics: Cool Talk debate hosted by the University of St. Thomas Murphy Institute for Catholic Thought, Law and Public Policy on Friday, Nov. 15, at the university’s School of Law.

The event will be held at 12:30 p.m. in Room 235 of the School of Law building at Harmon Place and 11th Street on St. Thomas’ downtown Minneapolis campus. It is free and open to the public.

Debating the question, “Did the prosecutors reach far enough into Wall Street’s executive suites when bringing justice to the financial crises?” are Joe Dixon and Hank Shea. Shea will defend the absence of prosecutions of Wall Street executives, with Dixon criticizing that position.

Dixon, a former assistant U.S. attorney and chief of the economic crime section, played key roles in the prosecution of Tom Petters and the co-conspirators involved in the $3.65 billion Ponzi scheme that spanned a decade. He was instrumental in other high-profile criminal cases, including the prosecutions of hedge-fund manager Trevor Cook and former auto-mogul Denny Hecker. Dixon now is deputy general counsel for government and internal investigation at UnitedHealth Group, and is an adjunct professor at the School of Law.

Shea, a former assistant U.S. attorney for the Minnesota district for nearly 20 years and chief of his office’s economic crime section, was one of the country’s most effective white-collar crime prosecutors. From the crimes that Shea prosecuted, the U.S. Attorney’s Office collected more than $50 million in restitution, fines and forfeitures. Shea is a senior distinguished fellow with the School of Law and a fellow with the Holloran Center for Ethical Leadership in the Professions.

The Hot Topics: Cool Talk series explores Catholic positions and other perspectives on provocative issues of law and public policy.  This year’s topics include abortion and sexual equality, green Thomism and GMOs, disability law and deinstitutionalization, and progressive politics and religious freedom. The schedule for the entire series can be found on the Murphy Institute’s website.