The Justice Department recently released a revised Corporate Enforcement Policy (CEP) to expound upon the potential benefits bestowed on companies that self report white-collar crime. The Department’s announcement appears to be framed as an olive branch to further encourage corporations to voluntarily disclose potential malfeasance to the government, but at what risk? The decision of whether to disclose potential criminality by individuals in a corporation remains significant, and often risky, with many cascading consequences, even under these more-lenient policies.

Revised CEP

Assistant Attorney General Kenneth Polite Jr. last month said that the “revisions provide specific, additional incentives to companies for voluntary self-disclosures, as well as for cooperation and remediation.” He also underscored that companies that fail to avail themselves of the new policy could face “very different outcomes” and, even, “dire consequences.” Among other changes in the revised CEP is the possibility for a corporate declination “even if aggravating circumstances are present.” For this to occur, the company must be able to demonstrate that it has met three factors:

1. “The voluntary self-disclosure was made immediately upon the company becoming aware of the allegation of misconduct;

2. At the time of the misconduct and the disclosure, the company had an effective compliance program and system of internal accounting controls that enabled the identification of the misconduct and led to the company’s voluntary self-disclosure; and

3. The company provided extraordinary cooperation with the Department’s investigation and undertook extraordinary remediation.”

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