For years, rogue corporations have in effect gotten away with murder through a system that allows them to avoid prosecution for serious offenses by promising to change their ways and paying affordable financial penalties.
These arrangements, widely used by the Justice Department, are known as deferred prosecution and non-prosecution agreements but they are really nothing more than leniency practices. Their supporters claim that the threat of actual prosecution in the future is sufficient to get companies to clean up their act. They also point out that the agreements have provisions requiring such changes.
Unfortunately, there are numerous examples of companies that have violated the terms of their deferred or non-prosecution agreements with apparent impunity. The Biden Justice Department is vowing to change that. Last month, Deputy Attorney General Lisa Monaco gave a speech in which she said DOJ is tightening its procedures on leniency agreements, especially for companies with “a documented history of repeated corporate wrongdoing.” She indicated that DOJ will look not only at the offense related to the agreement but the full range of misconduct.
To assist DOJ in its efforts, Public Citizen has just published a report highlighting 20 large companies with deferred prosecution and non-prosecution agreements that have histories of wrongdoing documented in the Violation Tracker database we manage at Good Jobs First.
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