The Department of Justice Non-Prosecution Agreement: What You Need to Know

A non-prosecution agreement (NPA) is a legal agreement between the Department of Justice (DOJ) and a company or individual. It essentially states that the DOJ will not pursue legal action against the company or individual for certain illegal actions in exchange for the company or individual agreeing to specific conditions.

The Department of Justice uses NPAs to incentivize companies and individuals to cooperate with investigations and to ensure that they comply with certain laws and regulations. NPAs can also help the DOJ to avoid costly and time-consuming legal battles in court.

One recent high-profile example of an NPA involves Goldman Sachs. In 2020, the company agreed to pay $2.9 billion to settle allegations that it violated the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act by bribing officials in Malaysia and Abu Dhabi. As part of the settlement, the DOJ agreed not to prosecute the company for the alleged violations.

However, NPAs have been criticized for being too lenient on companies and not holding them accountable for their actions. Critics argue that NPAs allow companies to avoid prosecution without admitting guilt or accepting responsibility for their actions.

In response to this criticism, the DOJ has started to add more conditions to NPAs. For example, companies may now be required to establish compliance measures, cooperate with ongoing investigations, and make changes to their corporate governance.

The Department of Justice also frequently publishes guidelines and policies related to NPAs and other forms of non-trial resolutions. These guidelines provide insight into the DOJ`s expectations and priorities for companies and individuals seeking to enter into non-trial resolutions.

In conclusion, the Department of Justice Non-Prosecution Agreement is a legal tool that can help companies and individuals avoid prosecution for certain illegal actions. However, NPAs have faced criticism for being too lenient on companies and not holding them accountable. As a result, the DOJ has started to add more conditions to NPAs to ensure that companies are held accountable for their actions and to incentivize them to cooperate with investigations. If your company is facing legal action from the DOJ, it`s important to consult with experienced legal counsel to determine if an NPA is a viable option.