Corporate Enforcement Policy Revisions:  A More Amenable DOJ Looks to Negotiate (Part One of Two)

Announcing the DOJ’s Revised Corporate Enforcement Policy (CEP) during a speech at Georgetown University, then-Assistant Attorney General Kenneth Polite, Jr. called on corporations to be “our allies in the fight against crime.” Via incentives in the revised policy, the DOJ invites not only corporate do-gooders of sorts – those that voluntarily self-report, cooperate and remediate – but also more serious sinners (recidivists) to try and make a deal. “Criminal recidivism alone will not always mean a plea,” Polite said in the speech. In fact, guilty pleas generally will not be required when there has been disclosure, cooperation and remediation – unless there are multiple or “particularly egregious aggravating circumstances,” Polite added. His statements seem an interesting shift coming just months after Deputy Attorney General Lisa Monaco warned so-called “frequent flyers” that the DOJ “will not shy away from bringing charges or requiring guilty pleas where facts and circumstances require.” That was an approach that may not exactly have triggered a rash of self-reports. In this first article in a two-part series, we look at the changes to the CEP and the possible effect on self-reporting, as well as how those revisions fit in with DOJ initiatives. In the second article, we will take a closer look at aggravating factors, immediate self-disclosure and extraordinary cooperation, and discuss whether nondisclosure is still an option. See “Deputy AG Announces Changes to DOJ Corporate Criminal Enforcement Policies, Stressing Individual Accountability” (Nov. 10, 2022).

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