The United States Department of Justice (DOJ) made it clear in recent remarks that it will focus on rooting out illegal misconduct within the corporate sector and hold individuals responsible for misuse of their positions for their own financial gain. The comments, recently made at an industry conference, outline the feds focus on individual accountability for corporate white collar crimes.
This is in stark contrast to the workings of the DOJ when under President Donald Trump’s administration. Instead of what was deemed a more “business friendly” approach of the previous administration, Joseph Biden’s staff is pushing for more accountability.
How will the federal government achieve this goal?
There are taking a multi-pronged approach. The move will include the ability for the prosecution to look at the company’s full criminal, civil, and regulatory history when working to resolve an investigation, not just similar misconduct as was required in the past, and set up a new group of agents from the Federal Bureau of Investigation to work with the DOJ’s Criminal Fraud section as well as make use of third-party monitors to help keep on eye on corporate conduct.
What does this mean for corporate leaders?
Those who run these organizations or have a position of power are wise to review their practices and make sure they are in line with applicable regulations. An internal audit can help. Review the results and adjust as needed.
It is also important to take any notification of an investigation seriously. The comments by the DOJ shows that the government will aggressively pursue charges against those it feels is in violation and seek harsh punishments for any allegations of fraudulent activity.