DOJ’s Yates Details Individual Accountability for Corporate Crimes

In remarks today at the ABA/ABA Money Laundering Enforcement Conference, Deputy Attorney General Sally Quillian Yates announced an update to the manual for federal prosecutors that will incorporate new guidelines for the prosecution of individuals in cases of corporate wrongdoing and the standards that must be met by corporations in order to receive cooperation credit from the Department of Justice.

Under the new guidelines — which were originally outlined in a memo issued by DOJ in September — corporations must provide all non-privileged information about individual wrongdoing to the government in order to receive cooperation credit.

Yates insisted that the new guidelines do not change the U.S. Attorneys’ Manual’s treatment of attorney-client privilege. But “to earn cooperation credit, the corporation does need to produce all relevant facts,” Yates said. “We will respect the privilege, but we will also expect companies to respect its boundaries and not to wrongly exploit its legitimate purpose by using it to shield non-privileged information from investigators.”

The revisions to the manual also extend the policy to civil cases, she said, and instruct attorneys not to resolve corporate cases until there is a clear plan to pursue individual criminals. Yates said. “Our job is to seek accountability from those who break our laws.”