The federal government says it is invigorating its efforts to combat corporate and other white-collar crimes. The announcement came at the American Bar Association’s 36th National Institute on White-Collar Crime.
In her keynote address, Deputy Attorney General Lisa O. Monaco said that the priority is individual accountability but that the U.S. Department of Justice will also not hesitate to hold companies accountable as well.
“(We will) enforce the criminal laws that govern corporations, executives, officers, and others, in order to protect jobs, guard savings, and maintain our collective faith in the economic engine that fuels this country,” she said. “We will hold those that break the law accountable and promote respect for the laws designed to protect investors, consumers, and employees.”
Monaco, who last served in the Obama Administration as Homeland Security Adviser, told attendees that she noticed three distinct changes since she left her government position in January 2017:
- Corporate crime increasingly has a national security dimension.
- Data analytics play a more significant role in investigations.
- Criminals are taking advantage of emerging technological and financial industries to take advantage of the investing public.
To combat these crimes, the DOJ is taking four actions.
First, a new team of FBI agents will be embedded in the department’s Criminal Fraud Section. She added that part of their work is to incentivize responsible corporate citizenship and proactively put in place compliance functions.
Second, companies previously could avoid penalties by disclosing those who were “substantially involved” in the wrongdoing. Now, companies must identify all individuals involved no matter their position or seniority.
Third, the DOJ will again more heavily utilize corporate monitors. Instead of monitors being an exception, the DOJ won’t hesitate to impose an independent monitor whenever it deems appropriate.
Monaco concluded her remarks with these five points:
- Companies need to actively review their compliance programs to ensure they adequately monitor for and remediate misconduct — or else it’s going to cost them down the line.
- For clients facing investigations, as of today, the department will review their whole criminal, civil and regulatory record — not just a sliver of that record.
- For clients cooperating with the government, they need to identify all individuals involved in the misconduct — not just those substantially involved — and produce all non-privileged information about those individuals’ involvement.
- For clients negotiating resolutions, there is no default presumption against corporate monitors. That decision about a monitor will be made by the facts and circumstances of each case.
- Looking to the future, this is a start — and not the end — of this administration’s actions to better combat corporate crime.
A newly formed Corporate Crime Advisory Group will provide input on a variety of topics. The group will develop recommendations and propose revisions to the department’s policies on corporate criminal enforcement.
Defending Those Charged with White-Collar Crimes
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We have experience in handling the following white-collar crime cases:
- Computer Hacking
- Identity Theft
Obtaining a lawyer with a rich background in defending white-collar clients is critical for your future. If you face allegations, schedule a consultation with us right away. Call (949) 251-0330 or use our online form to get started.