DOJ’s Rosenstein Signals Changes to Individual Prosecutions for Corporate Crimes

Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein today signaled that the Department of Justice is reviewing a policy announced under the Obama administration that sought to increase prosecutions of individuals in corporate wrongdoing cases.

“It’s under review and I anticipate that there may be some change to the policy on corporate prosecutions,” said Rosenstein at a think tank event in Washington. “I don’t have any announcement about that today, but I do anticipate that we may in the near future make an announcement about what changes we’re going to make to corporate fraud principles.”

Under the so-called Yates Memorandum, issued by former Deputy AG Sally Quillian Yates in 2015, federal prosecutors received 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. Corporations must provide all non-privileged information about individual wrongdoing to the government in order to receive cooperation credit.

Speaking at the ABA/ABA Money Laundering Enforcement Conference in 2015, Yates said that the policy extended to civil cases and instructed attorneys not to resolve corporate cases until there is a clear plan to pursue individual criminals.