Wednesday, April 23, 2008

After Corporate Deferred Prosecution Agreements Come Individual Indictments

Corporations reaching deferred or non-prosecution agreements with the government, often find themselves paying money and offering cooperation in return for an agreement that will allow the company to continue its existence. From this cooperation, which in some cases includes a waiver of attorney-client privilege, comes the indictment of individuals within the company.  From the government, and sometimes the corporations perspective, these folks are the employees that failed to adhere to internal memorandum and internal regulation, and instead decide to break the law.

This week we see the aftermath of the Bristol-Myers agreement as the DOJ in a press release states "that the former senior vice president of Bristol-Myers Squibb Company (BMS) [  ] was indicted for his [alleged]role in lying to the federal government about a patent deal involving the popular blood-thinning drug, Plavix, used by heart attack, stroke and other patients."  "On June 11, 2007, BMS agreed to plead guilty and pay a $1 million criminal fine for misleading the government about the Plavix patent deal."  It is, therefore, not surprising to see an individual as opposed to a company prosecution happening here.


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