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Blumenthal Statement on New DOJ Policies to Prioritize Prosecution of White Collar Criminals

Blumenthal has urged DOJ to address Department’s leniency in holding corporate officers accountable

(Washington, DC) – Today, U.S. Senator Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.), member of the Senate Committee on the Judiciary, issued the following statement on new policies by the U.S. Department of Justice’s (DOJ) to prioritize the prosecution of white collar criminals, action that Blumenthal requested of Attorney General Loretta Lynch at her Senate confirmation hearing earlier this year:

I am pleased that the Justice Department has responded to calls from myself and others to hold corporate executives accountable for unacceptable and dishonorable corporate crime. While this guidance is an important step, it is not enough to bring the change we need. To have a significant, lasting impact, this strong statement from DOJ leadership must trigger a culture change among prosecutors and law enforcement officials across the country.  More importantly, Congress must act to eliminate the impediments to effective prosecution of corporate criminals by passing legislation like my Hide No Harm Act. Too often, corporate wrongdoing is effectively insulated from criminal prosecution even when it results in the deplorable deaths of innocent workers and consumers. While DOJ can and must work to change this, without Congressional action the culture of impunity in corporate boardrooms is not going away.

During AG Lynch’s hearing, Blumenthal stated, “One of the criticisms that has been made of the DOJ in its allegedly too lenient treatment of certain corporate defendants as being ‘too big to jail,’…to dispel at least the widespread impression or perception that perhaps the DOJ has been too lenient…would you consider pursuing more aggressively criminal laws that may be applied to corporate officers who are involved in malfeasance or violations of federal criminal laws generally?”

Last year, Blumenthal introduced the Hide No Harm Act, which would make corporate officers criminally liable for knowingly concealing the fact that a corporate action or product poses a danger of death or serious physical injury to consumers or workers.