DOJ Offers Additional Guidance on Corporate Criminal Enforcement

19 September 2022
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Key takeaways:
  • On September 15, 2022, Deputy Attorney General Lisa Monaco announced changes to how DOJ prioritizes and prosecutes corporate crime. These updates reflect the Biden Administration’s continued “get tough” approach to white collar criminal enforcement and appear to contain more sticks than carrots.
  • The announced changes encourage companies to voluntarily self-report, fully cooperate, and timely and appropriately remediate misconduct to avoid guilty pleas. Such companies also can avoid costly compliance monitors if they have effective compliance programs that have been implemented and tested at the time of resolution. In addition, these updates impose new obligations on corporate cooperation (particularly related to individual accountability) and corporate compliance programs and culture, including encouraging compliance-promoting compensation systems and effective and enforced policies relating to the use of personal devices and third-party messaging applications.
  • DOJ’s latest guidance on corporate criminal enforcement provides some helpful transparency and much-needed clarification to prosecutors and the defense bar. These clarifications – especially instructing prosecutors to give less weight to dated misconduct and providing transparency and guardrails to the selection and imposition of monitors – will alleviate at least some concerns raised by the defense bar following DAG Monaco’s 2021 memo on these topics.