The U.S. Department of Justice’s revised corporate charging policy, which was named after Deputy Attorney General Paul McNulty, was unveiled in December 2006. In the wake of its predecessor document, the 2003 Thompson memo, we have seen a steady increase in the resolution of corporate criminal investigations without indictments or trials. Over the last two years (2005-2006), the Justice Department has entered into twice as many deferred prosecution agreements (DPAs) and nonprosecution agreements (NPAs) as in the two previous years (2003-04).

Even though major corporate and other collective entities continued to face indictments in 2006, such as Schering-Plough Corp. (health care fraud), Citgo Petroleum Corp. (environmental crimes) and Milberg Weiss & Bershad (mail fraud), the number of DPAs and NPAs, or corporate pretrial agreements, has risen significantly over the past four years. Indeed, there have been at least 55 DPAs and NPAs from 1992 to 2006. The McNulty memo is unlikely to change this trend.

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