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Deptartment of Justice Issues New Charging Guidelines
in Corporate Fraud Prosecutions

McNulty Memorandum
    December 12, 2006

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  • Paul McNulty, Deputy A.G.
  • White Collar Defense Lawyers

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  • Corporate Governance
  • Sarbanes-Oxley Act of 2002
  • Deputy U.S. Attorney General Paul McNulty issues a new Dept. of Justice memorandum for U.S. Attorneys with updated guidelines for prosecuting corporations. McNulty emphasized that “[t]he prosecution of corporate crimes is a high priority.” If a company faces criminal charges, he cautions, that doesn’t necessarily mean that corporate directors, officers, and other employees “should not also be charged.” He advises federal prosecutors on nine factors to consider when weighing whether to charge or negotiate a plea in corporate criminal cases.

    McNulty cautions U.S. Attorneys about special policy concerns within different DOJ divisions to consider. While it is generally proper, he says, “for a prosecutor to consider the corporation’s pre-indictment conduct, (e.g,, voluntary disclosure, cooperation, remediation or restitution,” when deciding whether to file charges, certain DOJ policies and preferences necessitate that the Criminal, Antitrust, Tax, Environmental, and Natural Resources Divisions be consulted before determining that a corporation or its executives should charged.

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