Fastow & Arthur Anderson: Some Reflections on Corporate Criminality, Victim Status, and Retribution
Posted: 15 Jun 2004
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
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