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Feds Allow Companies To Police Themselves

“When it comes to investigating corporations of bribery and other crimes, the federal government prefers to save money—and allow suspects to conduct their own probes—than perform their own snooping from start to finish.

Whether the concern is foreign or domestic corruption by U.S. companies, the Department of Justice and Securities and Exchange Commission have increasingly allowed corporations to hire teams of lawyers and accountants to interview employees, gather electronic records and sift through documents, according to The Washington Post. Then, federal investigators review the results and decide whether to step in and probe the situation themselves or if they should indict anyone.

For corporations, conducting the internal investigations is not cheap. Diebold, which makes ATMs, spent $16 million, Avon more than $130 million and Siemens about $950 million. However, if the Siemens figure seems impressive, it is worth noting that it was still cost-effective for the company. In addition to the $950 million, Siemens paid fines of $800 million. But the $1.7 billion total was still less than the $2.7 billion that it could have been fined for bribing foreign officials. And not a single Siemens executive or employee had been prosecuted by the Justice Department.”

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