The U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) issued a memorandum on Wednesday from Deputy Attorney General Sally Quillian Yates that reaffirms the Government’s commitment to prosecuting individuals and formally instructs prosecutors to focus on individual accountability when dealing with corporate misconduct. Yates delivered additional remarks yesterday on the memorandum and its expected impact on criminal and civil investigations of corporations. Having been publicly criticized for permitting corporations to take the fall and allowing individual wrongdoers off the hook, the DOJ has regularly tried to focus on individuals with only limited success. Some may view the memo as restating existing Government policy but it in fact represents a significant formal policy shift that almost requires prosecution of individuals in exchange for corporate cooperation credit.
The DOJ memorandum outlines six steps to achieve this goal:
To be eligible for any cooperation credit, corporations must provide to the Department all relevant facts about the individuals involved in corporate misconduct.
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