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NCJ Number: 76451 Find in a Library
Title: Corporate Criminal Liability
Journal: Practical Lawyer  Volume:26  Issue:6  Dated:(September 1980)  Pages:23-36
Author(s): J J Brosnahan; S R Miller; R E Foy
Date Published: 1980
Page Count: 14
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: The article sketches the expanding imposition of criminal liability upon existing and dissolved corporations as a result of the criminal acts, knowledge, and admissions of agents and employees.
Abstract: The earliest common law authorities maintained that corporations were not subject to criminal sanctions. However, courts soon began to reject a flat rule of immunity, and corporate liability first emerged in the United States for acts resulting in a public nuisance. With regard to criminal intent, it is now well established that a corporation, through the conduct of its agents and employees, may be guilty of crimes involving knowledge and willfulness. The standard of corporate liability adopted by the Model Penal Code of the American Law Institute provides that a corporation may be convicted of a crime if the offense was authorized or tolerated by the board of directors or a high managerial agent. The most important restriction on the imputation of the corporation by a subordinate employee's acts is the requirement that the agent must have intended to benefit the corporation. If the knowledge of the offense is derived from several employees rather than from a single agent, a corporation is considered to have acquired the collective knowledge of its employees. Some corporations have defeated criminal liability by showing good faith and due diligence. According to recent rulings, corporations are entitled to constitutional protection against double jeopardy. However, a corporation may be charged with criminal contempt for violating a court order or consent decree. Since 1959, it has been firmly established that a dissolved corporation can still incur criminal responsibility.
Index Term(s): Constitutional Rights/Civil Liberties; Corporate criminal liability; Judicial decisions; Legal liability; White collar crime
Note: Article based on a chapter in White Collar Crimes.
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