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John Davis Comments on the Monaco Memo in Anti-Corruption Report

"The Monaco Memo: A Roll Back on Individuals and Cooperation"

Anti-Corruption Report

John Davis commented on the changes to existing DOJ policies on individuals and cooperation that were announced by the Deputy Attorney General (DAG) Lisa Monaco in her keynote address in late October 2021, which were then memorialized in a memorandum (now commonly referred to as the Monaco Memo). The Monaco Memo outlined four key policy initiatives: the creation of a Corporate Crime Advisory Group within the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) tasked with reviewing the DOJ's approach to prosecuting white-collar crime, a directive to prosecutors to consider a company's entire history of misconduct (as opposed to similar past conduct) when making charging decisions, reinstatement of previous guidance on what information companies must provide about individuals in order to receive full cooperation credit, and restated guidance on the circumstances under which compliance monitors should be required as part of a negotiated settlement. DAG Monaco had made it clear that the DOJ's first priority in corporate criminal matters is to prosecute the individuals who commit and profit from corporate malfeasance. "The DOJ has prioritized holding culpable individuals accountable through multiple administrations over time, and thus this emphasis is not new," Davis said, adding that the Monaco Memo puts discretion regarding how much companies reveal to the DOJ about their employees' actions back in the hands of prosecutors rather than companies, a switch from the previous administration.