The Department of Justice recently introduced a new policy encouraging prosecutors to focus on individual employees and not just the company. The Yates Memorandum was issued on September 9, 2015. This memorandum encourages prosecutors to focus on individuals from the beginning of an investigation. While the intent of this memorandum is pure, the way it is being applied appears to be misguided and could have unintended consequences. In the context of environmental crimes, many of which are strict liability, employees who are doing their job in good faith can find themselves in the crosshairs of a criminal indictment. This should have great impact on how companies choose to handle the criminal investigation.
The Yates memo strongly encourages targeted companies to provide “all relevant facts about individuals involved in corporate misconduct.” This all or nothing approach is quite dangerous. Many times, the government believes certain criminal elements exist that actually do not. This leads the investigators to believe that the cooperating witnesses are not being truthful. At times, when investigators do not find the criminal facts they believe exist, the individuals who attempted to cooperate are exposed to “Obstruction” charges.
During these investigations, prosecutors typically offer a form of immunity that provides little to no protection. It is incredibly important to have a lawyer that can distinguish between an immunity agreement that provides actual protection and one that does not. Paul knows how to negotiate with prosecutors to make sure his clients are protected.
Paul has been involved in large state and federal investigations. He recently managed a team of lawyers for a fortune 500 company and helped numerous individuals avoid indictment in a politically driven and misguided environmental investigation. Key strategic decisions were made early on in the investigation that led to the outstanding result. It is important to have a lawyer with experience dealing with this type of investigation in order to plan for potential areas the government will attack.
Even if the case is open and shut and there is a guilty plea the battle is not nearly over. The federal system gauges its punishment against those convicted by utilizing the Sentencing Guidelines. The Sentencing Guidelines provides several different reasons for lighter or more severe sentences. Every detail matters and every enhancement or potential reduction should be fought and litigated.
Paul Doyle handles all types of Federal Criminal Charges and will ensure that your rights are protected and fight to prevent federal charges from being filed against you. Contact Paul Doyle today to begin your fight.