Fastow & Arthur Anderson: Some Reflections on Corporate Criminality, Victim Status, and Retribution

Posted: 15 Jun 2004  

Alan C. Michaels

Ohio State University (OSU) - Michael E. Moritz College of Law

Abstract

This essay, part of a symposium entitled "The Criminal Law and Policing Corporate Conduct," uses some of the prosecutions arising from the recent business scandals to explore the criminal law's approach to cases in which the law can describe the same person as both the perpetrator and the victim of a single course of conduct. The essay suggests that the criminal prosecution of a corporation will be less appropriate when the corporation is also the victim of the conduct and that the importance of this "victim" status derives more from retributive than utilitarian concerns. Mixing the philosophical with the doctrinal, the essay surveys the treatment of victim-perpetrators in other areas of the criminal law and offers some potential explanations for why such prosecutions generally are barred. The essay concludes by discussing what appropriate treatment of victim-perpetrators might suggest about the relevance of retributive justifications for punishment in the corporate context.

Keywords: Corporate crime, Enron, Fastow, victims

Suggested Citation

Michaels, Alan C., Fastow & Arthur Anderson: Some Reflections on Corporate Criminality, Victim Status, and Retribution. Ohio State Journal of Criminal Law, Vol. 1, p. 551, 2004. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=556263

Alan C. Michaels (Contact Author)

Ohio State University (OSU) - Michael E. Moritz College of Law ( email )

55 West 12th Avenue
Columbus, OH 43210
United States
614-688-3451 (Phone)
614-292-2035 (Fax)

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