DOJ Announces Opposition to “Piling-On” Penalties

June 26, 2018

In a May speech, Deputy U.S. Attorney General Rod Rosenstein announced the DOJ’s policy to avoid the application of duplicative penalties by multiple regulatory bodies. Although the announcement was made in the context of FCPA enforcement, the policy is intended to apply broadly to investigations of corporate malfeasance.

The new approach aims to avoid punitive, and potentially arbitrary, penalties being applied by multiple agencies for the same corporate conduct. This change has the potential to also make settlement negotiations more predictable for both businesses and regulators.

The policy will be implemented through the U.S. Attorneys’ Manual, which means that it will not carry the weight of law. The policy is expected to guide U.S. Attorney actions in these matters, although its practical effect will depend on the discretionary application of the policy by U.S. Attorneys.

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