The Justice Department continues to send the strong signal that it is looking to charge senior executives of companies.  At a conference this week in London, senior Justice Department official Deputy Assistant Attorney General Sung-Hee Suh focused not only on the high priority the Department places on prosecution of corporate executives but she also made it eminently clear that the Department expects companies to cooperate in investigations against these individuals.  Ms. Suh also said that the Department is prioritizing cases relating to financial fraud, particularly at publicly traded corporations and large financial institutions.

Speaking at the PLI’s 14th Annual Institute on Securities Regulation, Ms. Suh emphasized that the Department has high expectations for corporate cooperation in the prosecution of individuals.  Ms. Suh said that the Department is looking to “reshape the conversation about corporate cooperation.”  She said that voluntary disclosure is not enough – the company must identify the individuals who are criminally responsible for the corporate misconduct and must locate and provide facts and evidence at the company’s disposal that implicate those individuals.  Sending a warning shot to corporations, Ms. Suh stated that the “Criminal Division will be looking long and hard at corporations who purport to cooperate, but fail to provide timely and full information about the criminal misconduct of their executives.”

Ms. Suh also emphasized the extent to which the Department is working with its foreign counterparts to bring these cases.  She noted that the Department has “developed growing sophistication and experience in a variety of areas, including analyzing foreign data privacy laws and corporations’ claims that overseas documents cannot be provided to investigators in the United States.”  She also noted that the Department is willing to coordinate resolutions with its foreign counterparts, “including accounting for the corporate monetary penalties paid in other jurisdictions when appropriate.”

The full text of her speech is available here.