Thursday, August 24, 2006

Deferred Prosecutions Come of Age

The Department of Justice's decision to enter into a deferred prosecution agreement with Frank Quattrone may signal that this device will be used in a broader array of white collar cases and not just for corporations.  An article in the Wall Street Journal (here) discusses the developing use of these agreements in investigations of corporate crime, and how they have achieved a featured position in the resolution of a variety of cases.  A key benefit to a deferred prosecution agreement is that the collateral effects from a criminal case are limited.  Blog co-editor Ellen Podgor is quoted in the article, and notes that in many industries, such as health care and military contracting, an indictment can be the death knell for a company because it is cut-off from future business. It will be interesting to see if cases involving individuals will be resolved by deferred prosecution agreements, and what the parameters of those agreements will look like. (ph)

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