Corporate Prosecutions: American Law Enforcement in Global Markets

37 Pages Posted: 20 Apr 2022

See all articles by Cornelia Woll

Cornelia Woll

Max Planck Society for the Advancement of the Sciences - Max Planck Institute for the Study of Societies; Sciences Po Paris

Date Written: April 19, 2022

Abstract

Large companies are increasingly on trial. Over the last decade, many of the world’s biggest
firms have been embroiled in legal disputes over corruption charges, financial fraud,
environmental damage, taxation issues or sanction violations, ending in convictions or
settlements of record-breaking fines, well above the billion-dollar mark. For critics of
globalization, this turn towards corporate accountability is a welcome sea-change showing
that multinational companies are no longer above the law. For legal experts, the trend is
noteworthy because of the extraterritorial dimensions of law enforcement, as companies are
increasingly held accountable for activities independent of their nationality or the place of the
activities. Indeed, the global trend required understanding the evolution of corporate criminal
law enforcement in the United States in particular, where authorities have skillfully expanded
its effective jurisdiction beyond its territory. This paper traces the evolution of corporate
prosecutions in the United States. Analyzing federal prosecution data, it then shows that
foreign firms are more likely to pay a fine, which is on average 6,6 times larger.

Suggested Citation

Woll, Cornelia and Woll, Cornelia, Corporate Prosecutions: American Law Enforcement in Global Markets (April 19, 2022). LawFin Working Paper No. 31, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=4088322 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.4088322

Cornelia Woll (Contact Author)

Sciences Po Paris ( email )

27, rue Saint-Guillaume
Paris, 75007
France

Max Planck Society for the Advancement of the Sciences - Max Planck Institute for the Study of Societies ( email )

Paulstr. 3
50676 Koln
Germany

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