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DOJ – New Policy on Individual Liability in Matters of Corporate Wrongdoing

DOJ Memo – Individual Accountability for Corporate Wrongdoing, September 10, 2015: “…we’re taking six specific steps to hold individual corporate wrongdoers accountable.  These steps are the subject of a memo that I issued yesterday to all of the department’s prosecutors and civil litigators…Some of these policies are new and some are already being practiced at various places within DOJ but now will apply to everyone across the department.  Fundamentally, these new policies ensure that all department attorneys – from main justice to the 93 U.S. Attorney’s Offices across the country – are consistent in using our best efforts to hold individual wrongdoers accountable…To codify and supplement the changes announced in yesterday’s memo, we will be revising several of the guidance documents that our attorneys rely on when investigating corporate misconduct, including the U.S. Attorney’s manual and the principles of federal prosecution of business organizations, sometimes known as the Filip Factors…

  • The guidance in this memo reflects six key steps to strengthen our pursuit of individual corporate wrongdoing, some of which reflect policy shifts and each of which is described in greater detail below: (l) in order to qualify for any cooperation credit,
    corporations must provide to the Department all relevant facts relating to the individuals responsible for the misconduct; (2) criminal and civil corporate investigations should focus on individuals from the inception of the investigation; (3) criminal and civil attorneys handling corporate investigations should be in routine communication with one another; (4) absent extraordinary circumstances or approved departmental policy, the Department will not release culpable individuals from civil or criminal liability when resolving a matter with a corporation; (5) Department attorneys should not resolve matters with a corporation without a clear plan to resolve related individual cases, and should memorialize any declinations as to individuals in such cases; and (6) civil attorneys should consistently focus on individuals as well as the company and evaluate whether to bring suit against an individual based on considerations beyond that individual’s ability to pay…”

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