The Justice Department has taken strong criticism for failing to prosecute the Wall Street criminals who engineered the global economic recession. As most people know by now, Wall Street speculators helped create a housing bubble using sub-prime loans, made billions from the loans, then left a huge financial mess for average American taxpayers to clean up. But instead of being prosecuted, the Justice Department has, by and large, given bankers a “get out of jail free” card. Photo Credit: Donkey Hotey/Flickr AllGov.com reports: At a time when critics have accused the Obama administration of not being tougher on Wall Street, a top Department of Justice official publicly defended the increasing use of deferred-prosecution agreements for white-collar criminals. These agreements allow corporations and their executives who have committed fraud to avoid criminal charges in exchange for admitting wrongdoing and paying fines. Ordinary people, on the other hand, would never be allowed to take advantage of ”deferred prosecution agreements”. It seems that there are now two rules of law, one for regular people and one for the elite. The Justice Department has defended its decision not to prosecute white-collar criminals by asserting that agreements which allow them to pay fines instead of doing hard time actually work: Lanny Breuer, chief of the Justice Department’s criminal division, said in a speech before the New York City Bar Association on September 13 that the agreements have had “a transformative effect on particular companies and, more generally, on corporate culture across the globe.” But if you knew that you could run a scam that would net you a billion dollars, but you would only be forced to pay back a portion of that, would a fine deter you? Or would you just consider that the cost of doing business?