Former Justice Department Watchdog Says Public Should Watch For Cuts In Budget To Prosecute Corporate Crime

Amid signs that President Trump could go easier on white-collar crime, a former top Justice Department official said the public must carefully watch whether the new administration provides adequate resources for corporate prosecutions.

In a Monday podcast interview with International Business Times, Hui Chen also expanded on her high-profile decision to leave the federal government after she asserted that the Trump administration’s behavior had prompted her to leave her position as the Justice Department’s compliance counsel.

“When [FBI director James] Comey was fired by President Trump, all I can think about is: If a company had come in to tell us that we have had an internal investigation, which involved the CEO, and the CEO first tried to tell the investigator to let it go, and then when the investigator didn’t, he fired the investigator — that would not be a very good narrative for the company’s compliance program in front of the Justice Department,” Chen told IBT. “And yet that was playing out on a bigger stage.”

Podcast subscribers can click here to listen to the full interview with Chen

Chen in June left her Justice Department post, in which she helped prosecutors assess potential corporate prosecution cases and also assisted the department in making sure that companies are following their post-prosecution commitments to stop violating laws.

In the interview with IBT, Chen said that in her job, she had not personally experienced any policy changes directed from political appointees in the Trump administration. However, she asserted that the messages and rhetoric being promoted by the president are at odds with the standards that law enforcement requires of corporations.

“Watching the kind of activities that I routinely ask companies about — things like what is your conflict of interest policies, how do you ensure your internal investigations are conducted in an independent and appropriate manner, all those questions — if I were to ask them of the current administration based on public information, I don’t think I’d like the answer that I would get from what I was seeing,” she said.

Source: International Business Times

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