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Branch Office Of The Prosecutor

David Hilzenrath of the Washington Post recently profiled a dynamic that readers of this site know well – and that is “as the U.S. government steps up investigations of companies suspected of paying bribes overseas, law enforcement officials are leaving much of the detective work to the very corporations under suspicion.” See here for the article.

The article touches upon themes also addressed in Nathan Vardi’s “Bribery Racket” article in Forbes (see here) as Hilzenrath notes that “for the people who conduct the internal investigations – many of them former Justice and SEC employees – it is big business.” Hilzenrath notes – “The corporations, sometimes at the request of the government, hire teams of lawyers and accountants to interview employees, gather electronic records and sift through documents. The government reviews the results and decides whether further legwork is warranted – and ultimately, whether to pursue charges.”

The recent Washington Post article motivated me to read a law review article that has long been on my reading stack and that is “Branch Office of the Prosecutor: The New Role of the Corporation in Business Crime Prosecutions.” (See here).

Written by Harry First, the Charles Denison Professor of Law at New York University School of Law (see here) and published by the North Carolina Law Review, the “article describes the evolution of the public corporation’s role in the criminal justice process – from potential defendant to “branch office of the prosecutor,” partnering with the government in investigating business crime – and assesses the impact of this evolution on criminal justice policy.”

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