The criminal prosecution of a corporation can have serious consequences. Not only can employees and officers be held criminally liable, but a corporation that is prosecuted for fraud or corruption may lose the ability to enter into contracts with the United States. Additional consequences can include:
Corporations may be liable for the criminal acts of employees if two prongs are met: the employee’s actions were within the scope of her authority and the conduct benefits the corporation in some way. To be clear, if there is a reasonable relationship between the employee’s action and her corporate responsibilities, then the corporation could be liable for the employee’s conduct.
Additionally, under the legal principle of accomplice liability, a supervisor who turns a “blind eye” to criminal actions may be liable. Similarly, under the responsible corporate officer doctrine, an officer that fails to take remedial measures to curb an employee’s illegal conduct may also be prosecuted, even if the officer did not encourage or participate in the illegal acts.
Even if the Federal or State Government is now “knocking on your door,” it is imperative to get qualified criminal defense counsel immediately. Corporate malfeasance must be thoroughly examined and hard decisions will need to be made by all parties. The right criminal defense counsel can stand by a company, and the workers and officers with that company, to make certain your rights are protected.
It is critical for a corporation to understand the consequences of criminal prosecution so that it survives to continue conducting business.
If your corporation faces criminal prosecution, please contact our law firm for help and legal protection.