The area of law dealing with corporate crime is extremely complicated. This is due to the fact that sometimes a corporation itself is charged with a crime which follows with the prosecution of the principals of the firm including the Directors, CEO and CFO. If you are a corporate principal charged with a white-collar corporate crime it is important to contact a attorney from our office or another lawyer of your choice immediately so that they can try and negotiate the dismissal of charges if appropriate or otherwise negotiate on your behalf with the U.S. Attorneys Office before other principals approach the government with any offer of cooperation. A CEO or CFO of a corporation can suddenly be facing criminal sanctions consisting of hundreds of thousands of dollars in fines as well as stiff federal penitentiary sentences. This is true even if such a corporate executive has never had a criminal record before and is a successful businessman.
If you are an executive of a corporate entity and the company is charged with a federal offense your life may change dramatically and you could end up in federal prison if you don’t seek legal counsel immediately. Your reputation can be destroyed along with your potential to obtain additional employment in the future even if you don’t go to prison on a baseless federal charge. In some instances, it may be possible for your retained attorney to approach federal prosecutors before you are indicted if you are under investigation and have the investigation terminate. It will depend on all the facts involved in the case but it may be possible to avoid any criminal prosecution and maintain your reputation and your integrity as a corporate executive in some of these types of cases.
One important area where many corporations are charged with federal offenses relates to the Foreign Corruption Practices Act (FCPA). This law which is strictly enforced by the federal government involves paying foreign government officials money or providing them with benefits to allow a U.S. firm to obtain contracts to conduct business outside the United States in a foreign country. It is similar to the public corruption bribery laws when a government official in the United States is paid a bribe in return for special business favors or contracts. Although such practices are widespread throughout foreign countries and often committed by foreign corporations, U.S. corporations or foreign corporations doing business within the United States are bound by the provisions of the Foreign Corruption Practices Act.
In recent years, there has been cooperation among numerous foreign country governments with the United States who are also promulgating laws in their own countries relating to payment of bribes to government officials in return for reduction in costs for corporate business. The Organization of Economic Cooperation and Development Convention has been adopted by numerous foreign countries although a substantial number of other sovereign nations refuse to cooperate due to corruption issues. Violation of the (FCPA) federal law in the United States can carry a heavy sentence and within the last year the provisions have been vigorously enforced by the U.S. Department of Justice.
Other corporate crime cases which are being lodged against business entities and many of their principals include prosecutions for violations of the Sherman Antitrust and Clayton Acts relating to antitrust practices by corporate entities. These corporate offenses include price-fixing conspiracies by U.S. companies or even a foreign company if they do business in the United States and they are involved in an international price fixing scheme. Both a foreign company and it’s principals can also be prosecuted under U.S. law. There are variety of bid-rigging conspiracies which also have been prosecuted by the federal government of late. The U.S. Government is always well-prepared in prosecutions of this nature with a battery of attorneys and investigators working these cases. A person charged or under investigation in these types of federal cases needs to seek the advice of an attorney early on to prepare a defense for cases that are always well-organized and well orchestrated by federal prosecutors.
A variety of other federal prosecutions relating to corporate crimes include false advertising by a company or the commission of a crime which can affect the environment. In addition, if the government believes that organized crime elements are using a corporate entity for the purpose of laundering money then not only will the corporation be prosecuted federally but the principals will no doubt also be charged in such a case. Sometimes, federal prosecutors charge all of the directors and executives of a firm with a variety of federal crimes including RICO, tax evasion, conspiracy, money laundering as well as the predicate crime such as drug trafficking or fraud if they believe that the company was organized for the sole purpose of committing a crime or series of criminal acts. Attorneys from our firm are available to discuss any such accusation made against you by the federal government 24/7 and an initial consultation is free of charge. You can also contact us in our Colombia and Dominican Republic Offices.