This paper comparatively explores the wisdom of America’s enforcement of federal corporate laws through the disproportionate assignment of criminal penalties at the entity-level. Although federal criminal statutes have long been enforced against individual violators, the vigor with which they are applied pales in comparison to the frequency of entity-level enforcement. This state of affairs has been undoubtedly spurred by the elevated state of mind requirements appended to federal securities statutes, the considerable difficulty of proving individual criminal intent within a fragmented corporate structure, and the availability of entity-level liability doctrine to prosecutors. This has resulted in countless individual violators evading punishment, while shareholders bear the cost of the penalties incurred by and extracted from the corporation at the organizational level.
Recommended CitationDavid Kerem, Change We Can Believe In: Comparative Perspectives on the Criminalization of Corporate Negligence, 14 Tenn. J. Bus. L. 95 (2012) ,