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Litigation Regulation White Collar Crime

Use of Deferred Prosecution Agreements In White Collar Investigations

This article discusses the practical and policy reasons for the use of DPAs and NPAs in white-collar criminal investigations, and considers the NDAA’s new reporting provision and its relationship with other efforts to enhance transparency in DOJ decision-making.


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In the wake of the financial crisis of 2008, federal white-collar criminal enforcement came under fire. Much of the criticism was directed at prosecutors who were seen as going too easy on large financial institutions, and a principal target of critics was the corporate Deferred Prosecution Agreement (DPA). Under a DPA, the government files criminal charges, the company agrees to remediate wrongdoing (through financial payments and internal reforms), and the charges are ultimately dismissed.

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