The DOJ’s use of deferred prosecution agreements in white collar criminal matters has continued under the Obama administration, and many more such agreements may be coming in the months ahead. Dow Jones Newswires reports that the DOJ has entered into 10 of these agreements through June 2009, slightly ahead of the pace from 2008. Gibson Dunn partner Joseph Warin stated that the economic meltdown could lead to a surge in deferred prosecution agreements.
In the securities area this year, Beazer Homes USA Inc. entered into such an agreement related to mortgage fraud and securities fraud violations.
Last month, Justice Department lawyer Gary Grindler explained at a U.S. House hearing that deferred prosecution agreements
ensure that corporations face serious consequences for wrongdoing while also minimizing the impact to innocent third parties. Employees, shareholders and customers all can be harmed when a corporation is prosecuted, he said.