In the aftermath of the nation’s financial meltdown and housing crisis of 2008-2009, the U.S. Department of Justice on Thursday is scheduled to announce plans to prosecute “individual executives in white-collar crime cases, and not just their corporations,” reports Reuters.
In a speech at the New York University Law School, Deputy U.S. Attorney General Sally Yates, author of a memo outlining the rules for federal prosecutors, was slated to announce the guidelines.
By going after individuals, Yates said the Justice Department wanted to “change corporate culture to appropriately recognize the full costs of wrongdoing, rather than treating liability as a cost of doing business.”
Yates said companies would not get credit for cooperating with investigators unless they identify all employees responsible for crimes – regardless of executive rank or seniority – and turn over all evidence against them. Civil and criminal attorneys both should focus on individuals from the beginning of an investigation, the memo said.
Further, the memo states that “cases against corporations should not be resolved unless there is a clear plan to resolve related cases against individuals.”
From Fox Business:
Since his inglorious exit as chief executive of Lehman Brothers in 2008, Dick Fuld has preferred to keep a low public profile. But nearly from the moment the storied investment bank filed for bankruptcy, Fuld has been planning, albeit quietly, a comeback as a dealmaker.
It might sound like pure hubris that the man many people blame for the downfall of what was then the fourth-largest U.S. investment bank, the triggering event for the broader financial crisis, also believes he should have a second chance on Wall Street.
Indeed, individuals who ran companies like Lehman Brothers should be held responsible when the businesses crumble. After all, the companies didn’t run themselves into the ground. The change is also important to criminal justice reform, because the rich shouldn’t be allowed to step down with lucrative parachutes and escape prosecution, especially since poor people who commit lesser crimes end up behind bars.
Do you think the Justice Department will finally make good on their promise? Sound off in the comments below…
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