Stay up-to-date with the latest developments in securities law through access to both news and all statutes and regulations. Find relevant corporate filings through a searchable EDGAR database. And...
April 29 — The so-called “Yates memo” describing the Department of Justice policy that seeks to hold individuals criminally and civilly responsible in instances of corporate malfeasance is already having an impact in cases under investigation, a DOJ attorney told securities practitioners April 29.
Julie Porter, chief of the criminal division in the Office of the U.S. Attorney for the Northern District of Illinois, said corporations should pay close attention to a memo issued by Deputy Attorney General Sally Yates last September that directs federal prosecutors engaged in investigations of corporate misconduct to hold individuals in the organization accountable for their misdeeds (176 SLD, 9/11/15).
Porter, speaking during Northwestern University School of Law's Ray Garrett Jr. Corporate and Securities Law Institute in Chicago, said the policy is already affecting the way federal prosecutors conduct investigations in the securities and futures arenas and the way corporations are responding to the government.
“It is already having an impact on civil cases making their way through the Department of Justice,” she said. “I think the memo serves as a significant caution that corporations need to take these issues of transparency and accountability very, very seriously.”
Porter noted that a key feature of the policy emphasizes that corporations at the center of investigations will only receive cooperation credit from the department if they fully disclose information about the wrongdoing.
“One of the things I think is most remarkable about the Yates memo is what the deputy attorney general described as ‘all or nothing’—if you don’t give us everything you have, you get zero credit for cooperation,” she said.
In line with this view, Porter said corporations under investigation need to: conduct robust internal investigations of misconduct; identify the individuals engaged in misconduct and characterize their misdeeds; fully disclose all relevant information to the Justice Department and the Securities and Exchange Commission; and fully cooperate with the government’s investigation.
Pravin Rao, a partner with Perkins Coie LLP in Chicago and a former Assistant U.S. Attorney, said the new policy has caused his clients to focus more quickly on the conduct of individuals within the organization during investigations.
“The Yates memo has led to companies coming in and spilling the beans on individuals, and finding individual culpability,” Rao said during the same panel discussion. “There has been a slight shift in internal investigations. The focus has been: let’s get to the truth; let’s remediate the problem; let’s make sure we’re not making misstatements to the public; let’s make sure our filings are correct.”
To contact the reporter on this story: Michael J. Bologna in Chicago at email@example.com
To contact the editor responsible for this story: Phyllis Diamond at firstname.lastname@example.org
All Bloomberg BNA treatises are available on standing order, which ensures you will always receive the most current edition of the book or supplement of the title you have ordered from Bloomberg BNA’s book division. As soon as a new supplement or edition is published (usually annually) for a title you’ve previously purchased and requested to be placed on standing order, we’ll ship it to you to review for 30 days without any obligation. During this period, you can either (a) honor the invoice and receive a 5% discount (in addition to any other discounts you may qualify for) off the then-current price of the update, plus shipping and handling or (b) return the book(s), in which case, your invoice will be cancelled upon receipt of the book(s). Call us for a prepaid UPS label for your return. It’s as simple and easy as that. Most importantly, standing orders mean you will never have to worry about the timeliness of the information you’re relying on. And, you may discontinue standing orders at any time by contacting us at 1.800.960.1220 or by sending an email to email@example.com.
Put me on standing order at a 5% discount off list price of all future updates, in addition to any other discounts I may quality for. (Returnable within 30 days.)
Notify me when updates are available (No standing order will be created).
This Bloomberg BNA report is available on standing order, which ensures you will all receive the latest edition. This report is updated annually and we will send you the latest edition once it has been published. By signing up for standing order you will never have to worry about the timeliness of the information you need. And, you may discontinue standing orders at any time by contacting us at 1.800.372.1033, option 5, or by sending us an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Put me on standing order
Notify me when new releases are available (no standing order will be created)