Lies, Damn Lies and Statistics
According to a report recently released by the United States Sentencing Commission, the most common federal offense committed by “organizational offenders” (i.e. corporations, partnerships, unions, trusts, pension funds, and non-profits) was environmental crime. Not fraud, not money-laundering. You can see the article here: http://www.uscourts.gov/news/2016/12/22/environmental-crime-tops-list-organizations
According to the report, environmental crimes comprised nearly a third (33.2 percent) of all crimes committed by organizations.
Seventy (70) percent were water-related, sixteen (actually 16.7) percent were wildlife related, eight (actually 8.3) percent involved hazardous materials and five (5) percent were air cases.
The Sentencing Commission studied 181 organizations convicted of a federal offense in fiscal year 2015 and found that the rate of organizational crime is on the rise, going up nearly twelve (12) percent over fiscal year 2014. The sentences typically handed down for organizational entities are designed to both punish and deter and escalate with the severity of the crime. The sentencing guidelines may also require the development of compliance and ethics programs.
Of those organizations charged in 2015, almost ninety-eight (98) percent pled guilty. The average fine was nearly $23,000,000.00. Approximately twenty-eight (28) percent were also ordered to develop compliance and ethics programs. And, over half of all organizational cases involved a related individual who was convicted separately.
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