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White collar crime and the DOJ

New York executives may have heard about a recent pronouncement on white collar crime by the U.S. Department of Justice. For most corporate personnel, the least favorable scenario is providing an admission of guilt to the federal government. Often times, these individuals would rather settle and pay exorbitant fines than plead guilty to the crimes they've been accused of committing. Even when it comes to being placed under the supervision of a monitor, the outcome is far more attractive than a guilty plea.

When the parent company is faced with making an admission of guilt, key executives may be sacrificed for the greater good of the corporation and its shareholders. The DOJ recently released a memo announcing a new policy that has some applauding the news as a crackdown, while others claim the initiative is too little and too late. According to the new policy, corporate criminals are required to cooperate with the federal prosecution before they may qualify for any cooperation credit.

Critics claim that the DOJ may have accomplished more by requiring guilty pleas from corporations, or if authorities prohibited nonprosecution and deferred agreements for any corporate wrongdoing that was a criminal act. One prominent law professor was astounded that the new policy was not already standard practice for the DOJ. The DOJ's deputy attorney general claims that new policy is designed to pursue accountability, rather than recover the largest sum of fines from as many corporations as possible.

A person who has been issued white collar crime charges may want to obtain the assistance of a criminal defense lawyer. Legal counsel may be able to investigate the allegations and begin developing a viable defense for the defendant. Often times, lawyers focus on vetting witness statements, financial documents and other evidence brought forward by prosecutors.

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