When it comes to compensating crime victims, the sacred cow of untouchable pension funds now may be a cash cow for federal prosecutors wanting to tap white-collar defendants for substantial restitution.

A recent 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ruling is the first appellate decision in the nation to hold that the Mandatory Victims Restitution Act (MVRA) of 1996 trumps federal retirement law that bars confiscation of pensions to pay debts.