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When Are Executives Held Criminally Liable for Corporate Misconduct?

When Are Executives Held Criminally Liable for Corporate Misconduct?

Author: Robert E. LevyDate: November 6, 2018

Top executives can sometimes be held criminally responsible for their company’s misdeeds and the role they may have played in the corporate misconduct. Former Volkswagen CEO Martin Winterkorn is facing criminal charges, including conspiring to defraud customers, commit wire fraud, and violations of the Clean Air Act, in connection with his role in the automaker’s emissions scandal. The CEO of a Washington-based staffing company was recently arrested for an alleged H-1B visa fraud scheme.

Under the Trump Administration, the Department of Justice (DOJ) has taken a more lenient approach when imposing penalties on corporations for white-collar crimes. While the DOJ has not abandoned its enforcement efforts, it more frequently declines to prosecute companies that voluntarily disclose misconduct, fully cooperate with agency’s investigation, promptly seek to remediate the issue and disgorge any ill-gotten gains.

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