Does the Yates Memo increase my liability as a compliance officer? & Three Questions with Ted Banks

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The Yates Memo, written by Deputy Attorney General Sally Yates and released on September 9, 2015, addresses individual liability for corporate wrongdoing. In the memo, the DAG Yates lays out new guidance to Department of Justice attorneys who are prosecuting individuals involved in corporate wrongdoing. When you review the data over the years preceding the Yates Memo, the data shows that the DOJ does a pretty good job of prosecuting individuals involved in corporate wrongdoing. From data collected by the United States Sentencing Commission, we know that in just about 60% of cases where an organization is charged with criminal conduct, an individual is charged too.  In 50% of those cases, a high level employee is charged.  We will have to look at 2016 data when it is released to see if the Yates Memo has any real impact on the rate of prosecution.   In this episode, Eric explores the possible impact of the Yate Memo. He answers:

  • What is the most immediate impact of the Yates Memo?
  • Does the Memo mean more liability for compliance officers?
  • What impact might the Memo have in the future?

The Upshot

As a compliance officer or a compliance professional, the Yates Memo puts us all on notice that our responsibilities are no different than our expectations for other managers, supervisors and leaders within an organization. Our condoning of, participation in, or turning a blind eye to misconduct or violations of the law can result in us individually having some criminal liability for those actions. We’re now on notice.

Three Questions with Ted Banks, Partner, Scharf Banks Marmor, LLC

As a partner at Scharf Banks Marmor, LLC, Ted’s practice focuses on general corporate and anti-trust matters.  He’s also President of Compliance and Competition Associates, a firm that provides consulting services to assist corporations in developing or improving their compliance and ethics programs, including records management, employee training and confidential investigations. As the former Chief Counsel – Global Compliance at Kraft Foods, Ted had responsibility for antitrust, general litigation, corporate transactions, sales, legal computer applications and public policy coordination.  He’s an adjunct professor of law at Loyola Univeristy Law School where he teaches corporate compliance. Ted has been appointed as a corporate compliance monitor by the Federal Trade Commission and Competition Bureau of Canada to oversee compliance programs of respondent companies. Ted is a thought leader in the field of compliance and ethics and is a well known author and speaker.

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