Ellen S. Podgor

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Perhaps the least sympathetic party in a corporate criminal matter is a corporate entity that has engaged in criminal conduct. If the corporation is large, subject to third party civil actions, and especially in an industry dependent upon a public perception of ethical behavior, a criminal indictment can destroy the entity, and few in society are likely to be concerned. To ameliorate the collateral consequences of an indictment, corporations are quick to cooperate with the government by signing onto non-prosecution, deferred prosecution, or plea agreements. The government secures a hefty fine and obtains from the entity the names and evidence against individuals who allegedly engaged in the corporate misconduct.

But what if companies refused to cooperate? What if corporations demanded speedy trials? What if the power and resources of the entity were used to protect innocent or naive corporate constituents? What if the corporate fines were directed to third parties who could assist in correcting any wrongdoing?

Proposed here is the idea that corporations need to reevaluate folding to the government and instead present a united front against government attempts to extort money and evidence from them to the detriment of their corporate constituents.