Yet another example of why the rich are just different.
A Government Accountability Office study released last week is the latest to point to problems with the Justice Department's attempts to ensure criminals pay their penalties.
The latest investigation looked at five cases that resulted in $568 million in penalties and found only about $40 million actually was paid.
Because these are ongoing cases, the report did not identify the offenders or give much detail about the cases. All were either high-ranking officials of companies or operated their own business. They pleaded guilty in each instance.
All five were wealthy, or appeared to be, before the judgments, the GAO said, but they claimed later they did not have the money to pay full restitution to their victims. Still, several continued living in million-dollar homes, and two took overseas trips while on supervised release, the report said.
Prospects are not good for additional restitution in these cases, the GAO said, in part because so much time passed between their crimes and the judgment — five to 13 years.
The report said the offenders were able to hide their assets before penalties were established, and there is not much incentive to go after them because willfully failing to pay restitution is not a crime in itself.