Corporate Fraud

How Often Are Individuals Charged With Corporate Fraud?

Since mid-2002, the Department of Justice ["DOJ"] has charged more than 900 individuals in more than 400 corporate-fraud cases and more than 500 of those defendants have been convicted.

In determining whether or not to charge an individual with corporate fraud, the DOJ has set forth a list of considerations in a memorandum entitled "Federal Prosecutions of Corporations." Apart from other usual factors in determining whether to charge a corporation, the following factor plays a prominent role in deciding the "proper treatment" of a corporate target: "the corporation's timely and voluntary disclosure of wrongdoing and its willingness to cooperate in the investigation of its agents."

In other words, a corporate target may mitigate the chances of prosecution by vigilantly policing itself, reporting known illegal behavior, and seeking to cooperate with authorities at the earlier stages of investigation.