Corporate Criminal Liability, Moral Culpability, and the Yates Memo

This article examines the Department of Justice's Principles of Federal Prosecution of Business Organizations (contained in the USAM) and considers the concept of "moral culpability" within them. The article goes on to propose revising the Principles of Prosecution to better focus on questions of "corporate moral culpability" as a means of more accurately assessing corporate criminal liability. In doing so, the article proposes not only changes to the Principles of Prosecution, but changes to the common law respondeat superior test for corporate liability. Finally, the article considering the impact of the Yates Memo on corporate charging decisions and the Principles of Prosecution.

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Individual Accountability for Corporate Crimes after the Yates Memo: Deferred Prosecution Agreements & Criminal Justice Reform

In response to the criticism regarding lack of accountability for individual corporate wrongdoers, Deputy Attorney General Sally Quillan Yates of the Department of Justice issued a memo on September 9, 2015, outlining new guidelines for individual accountability. These guidelines have since been incorporated into the United States Attorney's Manual. Even so, the Department of Justice has entered into several deferred prosecution agreements since the issuance of the Yates Memo where no individual wrongdoers were charged, raising concerns about adherence to the new policy. Several months before the release of the Memo, Judge Richard Leon of the District Court for the District of Columbia refused to approve a deferred prosecution agreement because he found the agreement to be overly lenient for the corporate crime at issue.

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What's new about the DOJ's new FCPA corporate enforcement policy?

FCPA practitioners welcomed Rod Rosenstein’s announcement that the Department of Justice has made the FCPA Pilot Program permanent, and incorporated it into the U.S. Attorneys’ Manual. The audience “noticeably lightened up” at the Deputy AG’s news. Now that we’ve had an opportunity to digest the newly-styled FCPA Corporate Enforcement Policy, let’s examine some of the key differences from the original 2016 FCPA Pilot Program. 

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DOJ maakt Pilot Program permanent

The DOJ will convert the Pilot Program to a permanent guideline to encourage companies to self-report possible violations of the FCPA in return for leniency. The DOJ launched the one-year Pilot Program in April 2016 and extended it on a temporary basis this year.

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De vervolging van individuen in corruptiezaken & schikkingen

In schikkingszaken die het OM treft met een onderneming vanwege buitenlandse corruptie, zoals recentelijk de schikking met telecombedrijf Telia, lijken natuurlijke personen en individuen van het bedrijf de dans te ontspringen. Tot op heden blijven leidinggevenden of verantwoordelijke werknemers vaak buiten schot voor hun rol in gepleegde strafbare feiten omdat zij zich verschuilen achter de organisatie of onderneming waar zij werkzaam zijn. Zoals te lezen is in de working paper Corruptiebestrijding in Nederland 2.0 van Transparency International Nederland, is de aanpak van individuen zo belangrijk omdat iemand minder makkelijk voor de bewuste corrupte of corrumperende handeling kiest wanneer er een reële kans bestaat op individuele vervolging.

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Artikel: White Collar-Reset - The DOJ's Yates Memo and Its Potential to Protect Health, Safety, and the Environment

In September, 2015, Deputy Attorney General Sally Yates issued a memo developed by a career staff task force updating the Department of Justice’s (DOJ) approach to the prosecution and settlement of white collarcriminal cases. Among other clarifications, exhortations, and instructions, the “Yates Memo” said that DOJ would now emphasize the investigation and prosecution of cases against individual corporate managers and that, in order to get credit for cooperating with prosecutors, corporations must share all available evidence of wrongdoing by individual employees with the government.

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Deputy Attorney General Announces Comprehensive Review of DOJ Corporate Enforcement Policies

DOJ is reviewing and reevaluating numerous corporate enforcement policies, including the “Yates Memo,” the FCPA Pilot Program, and policies on corporate monitors.

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Artikel: Coughing Up Executives or Rolling the Dice? Individual Accountability for Corporate Corruption

“Flesh-and-blood” corporate criminals have long been a major focus of U.S. enforcement authorities in the battle against foreign bribery. Many of the actions taken against individuals were largely enabled due to the cooperation of culpable corporations with investigative authorities. For years, this cooperation was encouraged by the award of “cooperation credit,” which is a mitigated approach toward cooperating corporations. The Yates Memorandum promulgated recently by the Department of Justice, however, has changed the rules of the game.

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DoJ Pilot Program blijft nog van kracht tijdens evaluatie

In april 2016 is door de Department of Justice (DoJ) een éénjarig zogenaamd ‘pilot program’ gelanceerd dat zelfmelden in FCPA-zaken door bedrijven diende te bevorderen. Nu het zou gaan om een éénjarig programma, zou deze aanvankelijk eindigen per 5 april 2017. Door DoJ is echter bevestigd dat het programma zal doorlopen terwijl het wordt geëvalueerd.

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Artikel: Beyond Yates | From Engagement to Accountability in Corporate Crime

This Essay assesses the Yates memo to situate it within the current social context of corporate criminal prosecutions. What I find is that the Yates memo represents a missed opportunity. Its guidelines amount to political talking points that are unlikely to produce meaningful change.

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