The NewStandard ceased publishing on April 27, 2007.

Report Asks: Are Some Companies Too Big to Police?

by Brendan Coyne

Jan. 3, 2006 – Despite a handful of high-profile cases in recent years, a new report finds that criminal prosecution against companies has been declining steadily for four years. Corporations are more often opting to help prosecute individual company officials or meet other requirements in exchange for deferred prosecution and dropped charges.

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Prosecutors made twice as many non- or deferred-prosecution pacts with companies between 2002 and 2005 as they did throughout the entire 1990s, according to the report compiled by Corporate Crime Reporter, a newsletter specializing in legal issues related to white-collar crime. The publication openly advocates punishing corporations for wrongdoing.

The report, Crime Without Conviction, details 34 cases of deferred and non-prosecution deals made with the nation’s largest companies, including Sears, Merrill Lynch, AOL and Monsanto. Under a deferred-prosecution deal, the government agrees to drop charges against a corporation in exchange for penalties such as fines.

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The NewStandard ceased publishing on April 27, 2007.

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Brendan Coyne is a contributing journalist.

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