Tags: | corporate | criminal | liability | intent

Giuliani Alarmed by Lower Bar in Prosecuting Corporate Crime

Tuesday, 02 Dec 2014 07:19 PM

Former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani has criticized the idea of corporate criminal liability, and says that demonstrating intent is necessary to prove a crime.

"If I was passing the law, I'm not sure I would have corporate criminal liability," Giuliani said in an exclusive interview with the International Financial Law Review (IFLR) that was published Tuesday.

"It should really be left to civil liability, as you can't put the corporation in jail."

Giuliani added that "too often, innocent people are affected by the decision" to prosecute corporations for alleged wrongdoing. He was alluding to the fact that if a company is convicted of a crime because of the behavior of management and executive-level officials, mid- and low-level employees who had nothing to do with the activity in question could lose their jobs if the firm suffers financially.

During his tenure in the U.S. Attorney's Office for the Southern District of New York in the 1980s, Giuliani played a pioneering role in the prosecution of white-collar crimes, including the cases of traders Ivan Boesky and Michael Milken.

Today, however, Giuliani expresses concern about a growing number of indictments for unintentional crimes.

"The penalties are getting heavier and heavier," he said, yet standards of prosecution "are getting lower and lower."

Giuliani told the IFLR that he is uncomfortable with sentencing people to prison for anything less than knowingly breaking the law.

"Should have known is not enough for me," he said. "Knowing is necessary."

Asked about public frustration at the lack of criminal convictions after the 2007-2008 financial crisis, Giuliani said there should be a heavy burden of proof when someone faces the possibility of prison time.

"We only want to [prosecute] when there is proof beyond a reasonable doubt that someone knowingly violated the law," he said.

In cases where someone was negligent, that person should be sued civilly and not be subject to criminal prosecution, Giuliani added.

Since March 2005, he has been a partner at Bracewell & Giuliani, an international law firm representing corporate clients in areas ranging from antitrust to climate change and environmental law.

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Former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani has criticized the idea of corporate criminal liability, and says that demonstrating intent is necessary to prove a crime.
corporate, criminal, liability, intent
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2014-19-02
Tuesday, 02 Dec 2014 07:19 PM
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