Department of Justice focusing on corporate crime

On Behalf of | Nov 29, 2021 | White Collar Crimes

New York City is a hub for financial activity. With so many corporations in operation in the financial sector and the city viewed as a prime mover for business throughout the world, it is not uncommon for accusations of wrongdoing to arise. This can not only cost an individual or company its reputation and money, but it can even lead to jail time and other penalties. Being attentive to how these cases are pursued and prosecuted is a fundamental part of adhering to the law and avoiding accusations of missteps. When charges are lodged, it is vital to be aware of the strategies that federal prosecutors and the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) will likely use to secure convictions. This can be essential when crafting a viable defense.

Corporate enforcement a focus of the Biden administration

President Joseph R. Biden’s DOJ is pouring resources into addressing corporate misbehavior. This is a contrast from how corporations were overseen during the previous administration. The new president’s DOJ is examining taxes, fraud, corruption and more. This is stoking concern in the corporate world with the fear that they could face criminal charges for certain activities they might have used to further their business. This is common for new administrations as they tend to take a different tack than previous administrations depending on a variety of circumstances.

One specific issue is the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA) with fraud on its radar. Since so many businesses accepted financial assistance from the government during the ongoing crisis when they might not have been technically entitled to it, it is a source of rancor from those who strive for fairness. The DOJ wants compliance for the basics of the law. Companies that are said to have flouted these requirements may face consequences.

The DOJ’s intent is clear based on statements made by the U.S. Deputy Attorney General Lisa Monaco at the end of October. Its primary attention will be paid to three tenets. These are the principles laid out in 2015 designed to identify and weed out people who took part in corporate misconduct; to expand how companies who took part in prior instances of corporate misbehavior were assessed to come to a fair determination on how to penalize them; and making greater use of corporate monitors to ensure compliance. Any one of these can lead to unease in the corporate world. If charges are made, they must know their alternatives.

Criminal allegations can have severe ramifications professionally and personally

In cases involving allegations of federal and white collar crimes, those who are accused are often completely unfamiliar with the legal system and what they might face in a criminal trial – they have never been in any trouble before and are fearful. Often, the activities were simply part of the workplace culture and individuals who are being charged were doing what they were ordered to do as part of their job. These accusations can also harm a business with audits, loss of permits, licensing problems and more.

Knowing how the DOJ plans to pursue these cases is foundational to an effective defense. Having assistance from the outset can put their mind at ease that there are workable options to try and find viable solutions. It certainly helps to have professional guidance from those who are experienced in these cases and have forged relationships not just with the judges but with prosecutors as well. This can ease the process to a possible plea agreement, reduction of the charges or even open the door to exoneration and an acquittal.