DOJ Warns It Is Preparing to Launch ‘Crackdown’ on Wrongdoing by Companies

By Katabella Roberts
Katabella Roberts
Katabella Roberts
Katabella Roberts is a reporter currently based in Turkey. She covers news and business for The Epoch Times, focusing primarily on the United States.
November 11, 2021 Updated: November 11, 2021

The U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) is preparing to launch a “crackdown” on wrongdoing by companies within the coming weeks, a senior official said Thursday.

Speaking to the Financial Times, John Carlin, who is working on the department’s planned crackdown, said, “you’ll see cases in the weeks to come” which will involve, “some of the largest corporations” operating in the United States.

The crackdown could potentially target companies who have violated the terms of deferred prosecution agreements (DPA), an arrangement reached between a prosecutor and a company to resolve a matter that could otherwise be prosecuted. The charges are typically dropped if the company agrees to comply with certain conditions or follow through on its obligations.

Carlin, who served as acting deputy attorney general for a short time after President Joe Biden was sworn into office, said that the department may go after companies that do not follow through on its obligations as set by the deferred prosecution agreements, and may take legal action against them.

“There are going to be serious consequences,” Carlin warned of companies who failed to invest in compliance systems as set out in the DPA.

“You should expect in the days, months, years to come an unprecedented focus by this attorney-general on corporate accountability,” he said, referring to Merrick Garland, the U.S. government’s top lawyer.

He added: “Now is the time to get the house in order, focus on compliance, because there [are] going to be tough enforcement actions coming out of the department if you do not do so.”

The Biden administration has vowed to take a tougher approach to anti-competitive practices among big companies and in July, the president signed an executive order intended to “promote the interests of American workers, businesses, and consumers” and “create a fair, open, and competitive marketplace.”

In October, a dozen Republican and Democratic senators introduced a bill aimed at stopping Big Tech from limiting consumer choice and restoring competition online.

The American Innovation and Choice Online Act, which is similar to a bill introduced earlier this year by House Judiciary Subcommittee on Antitrust Chairman David Cicilline (D-R.I.), would make it illegal for large tech companies to engage in discriminatory behavior, including disadvantaging rivals.

The bill would also give antitrust enforcers the power to hold large tech companies accountable for illegal behavior by giving them a range of tools to deter such violations.

Also in October, the DOJ announced a series of policy changes aimed at strengthening the way it responds to corporate crime and said it will “hold those that break the law accountable and promote respect for the laws designed to protect investors, consumers, and employees.”

“Accountability starts with the individuals responsible for criminal conduct. Attorney General Garland has made clear it is unambiguously this department’s first priority in corporate criminal matters to prosecute the individuals who commit and profit from corporate malfeasance,” Deputy Attorney General Lisa Monaco said.

Katabella Roberts is a reporter currently based in Turkey. She covers news and business for The Epoch Times, focusing primarily on the United States.