DOJ Introduces Central Corporate Crime Database
As part of its ongoing commitment to transparency, the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) collects, for the first time, significant white-collar crime cases across all departments in a central database.
The move comes in response to a 2022 legislative initiative by two Democratic U.S. senators and one Democratic US Representative. The Corporate Crime Database Act, which ultimately failed, would have required the DOJ to collect, aggregate, analyze, and publish comprehensive data on federal corporate criminal prosecutions.
At the time of this blog post, the database contains 13 cases from the most recent past (i.e., cases resolved since the end of April 2023). However, according to the DOJ, it will gradually be expanded to include cases from the last few years. The database is searchable, among other things, by federal court district and date. It includes case summaries and links to relevant case documents.
The database represents the U.S. government’s first systematic collection of corporate crime cases at the federal level. It includes cases against companies as well as cases against individual persons related to corporate activity.
In the long run, the Corporate Crime Database could play an essential role in making the DOJ’s legal views and priorities for action transparent to business participants and their advisors. Until now, legal practitioners had to rely on non-governmental offerings, e.g., from U.S. law schools or NGOs.