After prolonged criticism over its lack of prosecution of individuals responsible for corporate misconduct, the Justice Department has issued new internal guidance that makes clear that prosecuting individuals in white collar cases is a high priority and should be considered at the very early stages of a corporate misconduct investigation.
The guidance, issued Wednesday, gives prosecutors six directives targeted at increasing prosecutions against individuals:
While it remains to be seen whether this directive will result in increased prosecutions of individuals in white collar cases, the message coming from the top of the Department is clear. Prosecutors are going to have to increase their efforts to make cases against individuals and companies seeking credit for providing cooperation are going to have to thoroughly investigate and hand over the facts and evidence that lead straight to these executives.
A copy of the guidance may be found here.