At NYU Law, Deputy AG Lisa Monaco announces new changes in DOJ's corporate criminal enforcement

Lisa Monaco
Lisa Monaco

In remarks delivered on September 15 in NYU Law’s Greenberg Lounge, Lisa Monaco, deputy attorney general for the US Department of Justice (DOJ), announced new changes and priorities in the DOJ’s enforcement actions targeting corporate crime. Monaco, who was a senior distinguished fellow in residence at NYU Law from 2017 to 2021, emphasized that in corporate criminal cases, individuals are a key prosecutorial focus. “Our top priority for corporate criminal enforcement: going after individuals who commit and profit from corporate crime,” she said. Monaco noted that that in order to facilitate cases against individual defendants, the DOJ will require cooperating companies to produce evidence more quickly and will not wait until a case against a corporation is resolved before bringing charges against individuals.

In addition, Monaco gave more details about a previously announced DOJ policy of taking a company’s history of misconduct into account in prosecutorial decisions, and she explained how the DOJ will reward corporations for instituting their own policies for independently investigating, reporting, and penalizing internal wrongdoing. She also announced new guidelines for prosecutors for the selection and evaluation of DOJ compliance monitors.

“In short, we’re empowering companies to do the right thing,” said Monaco, “and empowering our prosecutors to hold accountable those that don’t.”

The event was co-hosted by NYU Law’s Program on Corporate Compliance and Enforcement (PCCE), Institute for Corporate Governance and Finance, and Pollack Center for Law and Business. The question and answer sessions that followed Monaco’s remarks was moderated by PCCE faculty director and Norma Z. Paige Professor of Law Jennifer Arlen ’86.

Watch video of the event: 

SELECTED REMARKS by Lisa Monaco:

“Going forward, undue or intentional delay in producing information or documents—particularly those that show individual culpability—will result in the reduction or denial of cooperation credit. Gamesmanship with disclosures and productions will not be tolerated. If a cooperating company discovers hot documents or evidence, its first reaction should be to notify the prosecutors.”

“We do not want to discourage acquisitions that result in reformed and improved compliance structures. We will not treat as recidivists companies with a proven track record of compliance that acquire companies with a history of compliance problems, so long as those problems are promptly and properly addressed post-acquisition.”

“When prosecutors evaluate the strength of a company’s compliance program, they will consider whether its compensation systems reward compliance and impose financial sanctions on employees, executives, or directors whose direct or supervisory actions or omissions contributed to criminal conduct. They will evaluate what companies say and what they do, including whether, after learning of misconduct, a company actually claws back compensation or otherwise imposes financial penalties.”

Posted September 21, 2022.