On 9 September 2015, the DoJ published a memo by the Deputy Attorney General, Sally Quillian Yates.
The memo provides the following six key steps to strengthen the DoJ’s pursuit of individual corporate misconduct:
- in order to qualify for cooperation credit, corporations must turn over all relevant facts relating to the individuals responsible for the misconduct to the DoJ;
- criminal and civil corporate investigations should focus on individuals from the beginning of the investigation;
- criminal and civil attorneys (within the DoJ) handling corporate investigations should be in routine communication with one another;
- absent extraordinary circumstances or approved departmental policy, the DoJ will not release culpable individuals from civil or criminal liability when resolving a matter with a corporation;
- DoJ attorneys should not resolve matters with a corporation without a clear plan to resolve related individual cases, and should memorialise any declinations as to individuals in such cases; and
- civil attorneys (within the DoJ) should consistently focus on individuals as well as the company and evaluate whether to bring suit against an individual based on considerations beyond that individual’s ability to pay.
Yates stated that these measures are intended to deter misconduct and to hold those who engage in misconduct accountable.
The move to hold individuals accountable chimes with trends in that direction in the UK.