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Scott Cohn on Crime
CNBC.com | December 01, 2011 | 02:36 PM EST

5. Politically charged probes into corporate failures.

The bankrupt solar energy firm Solyndra, which received a half-billion dollar federal loan guaranteeunder the Obama stimulus, is already a political hot potato and the subject of an FBI investigation. Proving crimes will be tough, and partisans will be furious when the feds come up empty. But executives at bankrupt MF Global — including former New Jersey Governor Jon Corzine — should be sweating bullets as authorities search for billions in missing or misappropriated customer funds.

My 2011 GPA: B-

1. "Expert network" becomes a houshold phrase.

Grade: Incomplete

Not in your house? Yeah, not mine either. Prosecutors said some at the research firms were offering illegal inside information. There were some important convictions in 2011, like Winifred Jiau and James Fleishman . But they're not household names, either, and the investigation is ongoing.

2. Growing backlash to war on corporate crime.

Grade: C

I correctly predicted this, but didn't predict the equal and opposite reaction from those calling for executives in handcuffs.

3. Judgment time for Madoff family members.

Grade: B

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