Corporate prosecutions: American law enforcement in global markets

  • Large companies are increasingly on trial. Over the last decade, many of the world’s biggest firms have been embroiled in legal disputes over corruption charges, financial fraud, environmental damage, taxation issues or sanction violations, ending in convictions or settlements of record-breaking fines, well above the billion-dollar mark. For critics of globalization, this turn towards corporate accountability is a welcome sea-change showing that multinational companies are no longer above the law. For legal experts, the trend is noteworthy because of the extraterritorial dimensions of law enforcement, as companies are increasingly held accountable for activities independent of their nationality or the place of the activities. Indeed, the global trend required understanding the evolution of corporate criminal law enforcement in the United States in particular, where authorities have skillfully expanded its effective jurisdiction beyond its territory. This paper traces the evolution of corporate prosecutions in the United States. Analyzing federal prosecution data, it then shows that foreign firms are more likely to pay a fine, which is on average 6,6 times larger.

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Author:Cornelia WollORCiDGND
Parent Title (English):LawFin working paper ; No. 31
Series (Serial Number):LawFin Working Paper (31)
Publisher:Center for Advanced Studies on the Foundations of Law and Finance, House of Finance, Goethe University
Place of publication:Frankfurt am Main
Document Type:Working Paper
Year of Completion:2022
Year of first Publication:2022
Publishing Institution:Universitätsbibliothek Johann Christian Senckenberg
Release Date:2022/05/02
Issue:April 19, 2022
Page Number:37
The paper has benefited significantly from a fellow visit of Cornelia Woll at the Center for Advanced Studies Foundations of Law and Finance in Frankfurt in early 2020, funded by the German Research Foundation (Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft, DFG) - project FOR 2774.
Rechtswissenschaft / Rechtswissenschaft
Wirtschaftswissenschaften / Wirtschaftswissenschaften
Wissenschaftliche Zentren und koordinierte Programme / House of Finance (HoF)
Wissenschaftliche Zentren und koordinierte Programme / DFG-Forschergruppen / Foundation of Law and Finance
Dewey Decimal Classification:3 Sozialwissenschaften / 33 Wirtschaft / 330 Wirtschaft
3 Sozialwissenschaften / 34 Recht / 340 Recht
Licence (German):License LogoDeutsches Urheberrecht