Justice Department to focus more on individuals in white collar crime cases

Attorney General Loretta Lynch.
(Image credit: Saul Loeb/AFP/Getty Images)

On Wednesday, the Justice Department sent a memo to federal prosecutors across the country with new policies that prioritize prosecuting individual employees on Wall Street, not just their companies.

"Corporations can only commit crimes through flesh-and-blood people," said Deputy Attorney General Sally Q. Yates, the author of the memo. "It's only fair that the people who are responsible for committing those crimes be held accountable." Previously, the Justice Department primarily went after companies as a whole, not individuals, The New York Times reports. Only after negotiating a corporate settlement did they prosecute people individually, but many perpetrators still went unpunished.

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