In late February, New York City-based federal prosecutors rolled out a new plan to encourage Wall Street companies to self-report wrongdoing. Effective immediately, the prosecutors said their Department of Justice (DOJ) offices in Manhattan and Brooklyn would reduce or eschew financial penalties to gain better financial evidence to charge individuals. The financial gains from the illegal behavior would still need to be repaid.
The prosecutors claim that this approach allows them to better police corporate misconduct, particularly as it relates to white-collar crimes as pervasive behavior that threatens national security, public health and the environment. In some cases, the DOJ will still prosecute charges even after self-reporting; moreover, it also points out that fully cooperating after getting caught is not the same as self-reporting.
Follow up on the Justice Department memo
Last September, Deputy Attorney General Lisa Monaco instructed all departments to develop new policies to motivate corporate self-disclosure — another part of the DOJ issued a policy in January 2023.
A warning to those who don’t
Rogue departments and unethical corporate heads are often reluctant to acknowledge profitable misbehavior, so it remains the job of brave individuals to step forward and notify the DOJ and other government agencies of illegal and unethical behavior by companies.