The 2014 Survey of State Attorneys General (SAG) collected information on jurisdiction, sources and circumstances of case referrals, and the participation of attorneys general offices in federal or state white-collar crime task forces in 2014. White-collar crime was defined by the Bureau of Justice Statistics (BJS) as: "any violation of law committed through non-violent means, involving lies, omissions, deceit, misrepresentation, or violation of a position of trust, by an individual or organization for personal or organizational benefit." SAG sought to analyze how attorneys general offices as an organization in all 50 states, the District of Columbia, and U.S. territories respond to white-collar offenses in their jurisdiction. BJS asked respondents to focus on the following criminal and civil offenses: bank fraud, consumer fraud, insurance fraud, medical fraud, securities fraud, tax fraud, environmental offenses, false claims and statements, illegal payments to governmental officials (giving or receiving), unfair trade practices, and workplace-related offenses (e.g., unsafe working conditions). In total, 44 state attorneys general offices and the District of Columbia's Office of the Attorney General handled cases involving white-collar crime.
During 2015, the National White Collar Crime Center (NW3C) served as the data collection agent in the 50 states and the District pf Columbia for the State and Local White Collar Crime Program, the funding program for the 2014 Survey of State Attorneys General (SAG). NW3C also subcontracted with the National Association of Attorneys General (NAAG) to assist with fielding the survey.
Two meetings were held with panels of subject matter experts. The first meeting focused on developing a definition of white-collar crime that could be applied in the 50 states and the District of Columbia. The second meeting focused on appropriate survey items for attorneys general and other potential sources for white-collar crime data.
Web-based data collection for SAG began in January 2015 and concluded in September 2015. Representatives from the NAAG called and emailed the attorneys general offices that did not respond, identified the person responsible for completing the survey, and encouraged response. BJS did not attempt the weight the data for unit-level non-response because the offices vary widely in their jurisdictional and statutory responsibilities.
Item non-response occurred when a responding attorney general office failed to answer all survey questions. Questions may have been skipped for a variety of reasons. For some questions, the office could answer "unable to be determined." For questions with an "other" category, the office was asked to write in any information missing from available response options. If there was no information in the write-in field, then BJS determined that the office did not have a response and it was recorded as a "no."
BJS determined that it could not impute item non-response for missing data because of the non-random variations in legislative and jurisdictional responsibilities among attorneys general offices. As a result, data are presented in the original form, including notes to identify when data are not reported.
Attorneys general offices in the United States in all 50 states and the District of Columbia.
The overall response rate was 86 percent.