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Justice Department to crack down on white-collar crime

Justice Department to crack down on white-collar crime
Deputy Attorney General Lisa Monaco participates in a news conference at ATF headquarters in Washington, D.C. on July 22. Monaco announced new rules to toughen prosecution of white-collar crimes on Thursday. File Photos by Jim Lo Scalzo/UPI | License Photo

Oct. 28 (UPI) -- Deputy Attorney General Lisa Monaco said Thursday the Justice Department will adopt a series of policy changes to crack down more severely on white-collar crimes, including misconduct by powerful business leaders.

Monaco made the comments at the American Bar Association's National Institute on White Collar Crime conference in Washington, D.C.

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She said she hopes the changes involving access to non-privileged information, the way past conduct is considered in prosecution, and corporate monitoring will make a difference in going after corporate criminals.

"I recognize that cases against corporate executives are among some of the most difficult that the department brings, and that means the government may lose some of those cases," Monaco said in comments released by the Justice Department.

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"I have and will continue to make clear to our prosecutors that, as long as we act consistent with the Principles of Federal Prosecution, the fear of losing should not deter them."

Monaco said a new squad of FBI agents will be embedded in the department's criminal fraud section with a proven track record in numerous high-profile cases.

"As I've seen personally, putting agents and prosecutors in the same foxhole can make all the difference, particularly in complex cases," she said.

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She said companies being investigated must provide the department with all non-privileged information about individuals involved in or responsible for the misconduct at issue, regardless of their position, status or seniority.

"The department is making clear that all prior misconduct needs to be evaluated when it comes to decisions about the proper resolution with a company, whether or not that misconduct is similar to the conduct at issue in a particular investigation," Monaco said.

"That record of misconduct speaks directly to a company's overall commitment to compliance programs and the appropriate culture to disincentivize criminal activity."

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She added that independent corporate monitors, something the Justice Department had shied away from except for the most extreme circumstances, will be used more frequently to make sure companies are in compliance and following their obligations to enforcement agreements.

"The changes I am announcing today are only the first steps to reinforce our commitment to combatting corporate crime," Monaco said. "In addition to the issue of monitorship selection, we have other issues to explore."

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