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This article outlines the principles of corporate criminal liability, including the factors prosecutors consider when making charging decisions, and the potentially available sanctions in light of applicable U.S. Sentencing Guidelines, and offers strategies for minimizing risk, including lessons from recent criminal enforcement actions.
The Department of Justice (DOJ) “Yates Memo” in 2015 renewed the federal government’s commitment to hold individuals accountable for corporate wrongdoing and offered related incentives. Companies, looking to minimize their enforcement risks and avoid indictment, are incentivized to provide the government information about employees and executives, sometimes to support a claim that a rogue employee acted against company policy. These incentives apparently have been successful; individual prosecutions for corporate malfeasance have increased in recent years. See, “The Yates Memo is Here to Stay: Signs of Increasing Efforts to Hold Individuals Criminally Liable for Corporate Wrongdoing,” Business Crimes Bulletin (June 2019).
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By Gary Stein
Early returns are in, and they indicate that the Supreme Court’s decision in the so-called “Bridgegate” case will be an effective tool for pruning the wild overgrowth that has built up around the federal fraud statutes.
By Robert J. Anello and Richard F. Albert
The holding in Blaszczak significantly widens the scope of criminal insider trading. It also creates the anomaly of extending the criminal law beyond the SEC’s civil enforcement authority.
By Harry Sandick and Jacob Tuttle Newman
This article considers certain positions taken by DOJ in cases involving Roger Stone, Michael Flynn and the subpoenas duces tecum issued by the New York District Attorney’s Office in connection with its investigation into the Trump Organization.
By Bradley A. Marcus
Although the criminal prosecution of lawyer misconduct is nothing new, the recent indictment of a plaintiffs’ lawyer in Maryland and sentencing of two plaintiffs’ lawyers in Virginia illustrate the particular danger to attorneys who arguably cross the line during negotiations with potential litigation counterparties.