The Corporate Crime Reporter is out with a new report detailing 34 crime without conviction deals between the government and major corporations:
Federal and state prosecutors are increasingly offering major corporations - including Adelphia, Computer Associates, KPMG, Merrill Lynch, Monsanto, Sears, Shell, WorldCom/MCI - special deals - known as deferred prosecution or non prosecution agreements.
Under these agreements, prosecutors agree not to criminally prosecute the corporation to conviction in exchange for cooperation against culpable executives, implementation of corporate monitors, and fines.
"It used to be that major corporations caught committing serious crimes would be brought to justice - convicted of a crime and sentenced," said Russell Mokhiber, editor of Corporate Crime Reporter. "No longer."
Now, under a policy implemented by the Department of Justice since 2003, major corporations caught committing serious crimes are not convicted of a crime and sentenced.
In fact, no major corporation caught engaging in accounting or securities fraud has been convicted since the Arthur Andersen conviction in June 2002.
The report finds that prosecutors have entered into twice as many non-prosecution and deferred prosecution agreements with major American corporations in the last four years (23 agreements between 2002 to 2005) than they have in the previous ten years (11 agreements between 1992 to 2001).
The report profiles thirty-four cases where prosecutors -- confronted with solid evidence of corporate criminal wrongdoing -- have chosen instead to enter into a non-prosecution agreement or a deferred prosecution agreement with the corporation.
Mokhiber was on Democracy Now this morning, predicting that 2006 will be the year of corporate corruption, for both corporations and politicians.