U.S. Attorneys’ Office Issues New “Self-Disclosure” Penalty Policy for Environmental Crimes

On February 22, the U.S. Attorneys’ Office issued a new, voluntary self-disclosure policy encouraging companies to reveal potentially criminal conduct for environmental crimes. For qualifying self‑disclosures, the policy can result in significant penalty reductions, and is intended to incentivize corporate compliance programs capable of identifying misconduct, and encouraging companies to rapidly address the underlying noncompliance. Under the policy, a company is considered to have made a voluntary disclosure if it becomes aware of misconduct and publicly reports the misconduct to the DOJ in a timely fashion prior to an eminent threat of disclosure. Companies that make qualified, voluntary disclosures may be exempted from a criminal penalty or will be fined below 50% of the fine range. The policy contains three aggravating factors which may, in the discretion of the DOJ, result in requiring a guilty plea even if the other requirements of the policy are met.  Guilty pleas may be required where: the misconduct poses a grave threat to national security, public health or the environment; it is deeply pervasive throughout the company; or, it involved the current executive management of the company. For more information, please contact one of the attorneys in SGR’s Environmental Practice.

Share via
Copy link
Powered by Social Snap