US Justice Department changes tack

The US Justice Department has issued new policies that prioritise the prosecution of individual employees – not just their companies – and put pressure on corporations to turn over evidence against their executives.

The memo is a acknowledgment of criticism that despite securing record fines from major corporations, the Justice Department under President Obama has punished few executives involved in the housing crisis, the financial meltdown and corporate scandals.

Sally Q. Yates, the deputy attorney general and the author of the memo, said:“Corporations can only commit crimes through flesh-and-blood people. The public needs to have confidence that there is one system of justice and it applies equally regardless of whether that crime occurs on a street corner or in a boardroom.”