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DoJ Shifts Policy on Corporate Prosecutions, Individual Culpability

Joe Mont | September 10, 2015

Representing a potential sea change in how the Department of Justice approaches corporate investigations and prosecutions, a new policy memo stresses the importance of individual prosecutions.

The memo, authored by Deputy Attorney General Sally Yates, is seemingly a reaction to widespread criticism that, especially in the wake of the Financial Crisis, the Justice Department relied heavily on monetary fines and rarely pursued individual prosecutions. That trend evolved from past policy memos by deputy attorney generals Larry Thompson and Paul McNulty, both appointees of President George W. Bush, outlining the Department’s approach for considering corporate “cooperation credits.”

 “One of the most effective ways to combat misconduct is by seeking accountability from the individuals who perpetrated the wrongdoing,” Yates wrote,...

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