Corporate Criminal Liability
Prosecuting a corporation criminally can have serious consequences. Not only can employees and officers be held criminally liable, but a corporation itself can be held criminally liable. A corporation that is prosecuted for fraud or corruption may lose the ability to enter into contracts with the United States.
Corporations may be liable for the criminal acts of employees. A supervisor who turns a “blind eye” to criminal actions may be also be liable. Similarly, under the responsible corporate officer doctrine, an officer that fails to take remedial measures to curb an employee’s illegal conduct may also be prosecuted, even if the officer did not encourage or participate in the illegal acts.
Whether in the technology, health care, media, energy or financial sector, we have consistently advised corporate clients who confront prosecution for the actions of employees. It is critical for a corporation to understand the consequences of criminal prosecution so that it survives to continue conducting business.