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Justice Dept. cracking down on white-collar crime? Don’t believe the hype

Without forcing guilty companies to plead guilty, corrupt culture will keep churning out corrupt individuals

Alex Wong/Getty Images
Deputy Attorney General Sally Yates

If you ask, corporate criminal defense attorneys will tell you — as they have told me — the one thing their corporate clients want to avoid when facing off against the federal government is an admission of wrongdoing — to have to plead guilty to the crimes they have committed.

Everything else is possible.

Pay huge fines? No problem.

Accept a monitor to report back to the government? Bring it on, especially if the company gets to approve the monitor.

Turn over executives responsible for the crimes? Under the bus they go.

But no guilty pleas for the corporate parent.