“The Justice Department’s policy leaves the individual wrongdoer unpunished, and instead punishes stockholders.
“As a former federal prosecutor and U.S. inspector general, I applaud federal Judge Jed Rakoff in questioning why the Justice Department penalizes public corporations for criminal activity by individuals at the corporations, while allowing the individuals who committed the criminal acts to go unprosecuted (“Firms Are Penalized, but Workers Aren’t,” Money & Investing, Jan. 17).
“That Obama administration policy ignores that the purpose of criminal prosecutions is both to punish the wrongdoers and deter others from similar conduct. The Justice Department’s policy leaves the individual wrongdoer unpunished, and instead punishes stockholders whose stock value is reduced by the millions or billions the corporation pays in fines.
“The policy doesn’t deter other individuals from similar crimes, and in fact may incentivize others to commit such crimes. The lesson is that if their wrongdoing is uncovered, it will be the corporation, not them personally, who will pay the penalty.
Read Wall Street Journal letter here