What crimes are prosecuted federally?


Federal crimes tend to be more serious than state crimes and involve a matter of national interest, safety, and security, as well as white collar crimes. They are usually investigated by the FBI, DEA, ATF or secret service, often working together with local law enforcement authorities.

Any crimes that occur across state borders can be prosecuted federally, even if the crossing is a virtual one, by way of the internet. Crimes such as child pornography that involve dispersion of files over the internet are therefore likely to be prosecuted in federal court.

Federal crimes can include:

Accounting fraud

Money laundering


Tax crimes such as tax fraud and tax evasion, for personal, business or employment taxes

Computer crimes including hacking and internet frauds

Child pornography

Frauds on securities, social and healthcare

Mail fraud and wire fraud

Identity theft

Controlled substances violation

Drug trafficking

Immigration violations

Import/export crimes




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