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November 15, 2013

Top judge criticises DoJ for not holding individuals accountable

The US Department of Justice’s use of deferred prosecution agreements to resolve criminal investigations without holding individuals accountable is “technically and morally suspect,” according to a leading US judge.

Judge Jed Rakoff, an outspoken jurist with a history of questioning regulatory settlements, said a shift over the past several years to prosecute companies and not individuals for wrongdoing ‘has led to some lax and dubious behaviour on the part of prosecutors’.

Public criticism from a judge is unusual and comes as the DoJ has signalled to major banks that it will bring civil charges against them for allegedly mis-selling mortgage-backed securities in the lead-up to the financial crisis. The civil review comes as the statute of limitations for most criminal violations has passed.

Judge Rakoff’s comment contributes to a broader debate in the legal community about the best way to punish wrongdoers.”


Read full Financial Times article here 

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