Opportunity Economy: Biden Administration Prioritizes Corporate Criminal Enforcement

In this Opportunity Economy conversation, two Department of Justice alumni—Womble Bond Dickinson attorneys Luke Cass and Joe Whitley—discuss enforcement trends in corporate crime with Womble Bond Dickinson attorney Mark Henriques. The discussion took place on an episode of the “In-house Roundhouse” podcast, and the article below is based on that conversation. Cass spent 11 years at DOJ, serving as an Assistant U.S. Attorney and Senior Trial Attorney with the Criminal Division’s Public Integrity Section. In those roles, he handled financial fraud and public corruption investigations and prosecutions of public officials. Whitley served as Acting Associate Attorney General, the third-ranking position at Main Justice during the Ronald Reagan and George H.W. Bush administrations. He was also appointed by Presidents Reagan and Bush, respectively, to serve as the U.S. Attorney in the Middle (Macon) and Northern (Atlanta) Districts of Georgia and appointed to be the first General Counsel for the United States Department of Homeland Security by President George W. Bush.

Nothing keeps corporate executives up at night quite like the threat of white-collar criminal charges. While other forms of wrongdoing or mistakes can cost the company money, white-collar charges can result in actual jail time for company leaders. DOJ has renewed its focus on prosecuting individuals for corporate crimes.

Federal white-collar enforcement priorities typically change when there is a new administration in Washington, and that certainly is the case in 2021, with the Biden Administration implementing its own set of compliance priorities and enforcement emphases.

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