Bicameral legislation would require DOJ to collect, aggregate, analyze, and publish comprehensive data on federal corporate criminal enforcement actions.

WASHINGTON – U.S. Senate Majority Whip Dick Durbin (D-IL), Chair of the Senate Judiciary Committee, U.S. Senator Richard Blumenthal (D-CT), and U.S. Representative Mary Gay Scanlon (D-PA-05) today reintroduced the Corporate Crime Database Act, bicameral legislation that would requires the Department of Justice (DOJ) to collect, aggregate, analyze, and publish comprehensive data on federal corporate criminal enforcement actions. Today’s bill introduction comes ahead of a full Senate Judiciary Committee hearing on corporate crime tomorrow entitled “Cleaning Up the C-Suite: Ensuring Accountability for Corporate Criminals.”

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“We believe that comprehensive, national data collection and a searchable public database of the results of federal enforcement actions against corporations and individual actors engaging in corporate misconduct would provide better oversight, inform DOJ’s corporate criminal prosecution practices, and demonstrate the effectiveness of corporate sanctions—which is exactly what our bill aims to do,” Durbin said. “I urge my colleagues on both sides of the aisle to support this common sense legislation to curtail corporate crime.”

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“This legislation will aid efforts to fight criminal corporate conduct. Collecting and reporting data on enforcement actions against white-collar criminals are essential to holding wrongdoers accountable. By providing this critical information, the Corporate Crime Database Act will deter future crimes and protect victims,” said Blumenthal.

“While the Department of Justice regularly collects data on nearly every type of street-level crime, there is very little reporting of corporate and white-collar crimes, with the last thorough DOJ report on corporate crime being in 1979,” said Scanlon. “Without data or transparency, lawmakers, journalists, and the public are left in the dark about the size and scope of corporate crime in America and the effectiveness of the federal government's response. I'm proud to join Senators Durbin and Blumenthal in introducing the Corporate Crime Database Act to improve corporate crime enforcement by the DOJ and ensure that our justice system is fair and equal for all.”

Specifically, the Corporate Crime Database Act would require the Director of the Bureau of Justice Statistics (BJS) within DOJ to:

  1. Collect, aggregate, and analyze information regarding enforcement actions taken with respect to corporate offenses;
  2. Publish a database of such enforcement actions on the BJS website;
  3. Establish guidance for the collection and submission of information from each Federal agency that carries out enforcement actions with respect to corporate offenses; and,
  4. Submit an annual report to Congress including a description and analysis of the data collected, an estimate of the impact of corporate offenses on victims and the public, and recommendations for legislative or administrative actions to improve the ability of Federal agencies to monitor, respond to, and deter instances of corporate offenses.

Last year, Durbin, Blumenthal, and Scanlon sent a letter to Attorney General Garland urging him to begin collecting, analyzing, and publishing Department-wide data on corporate criminal enforcement actions. In May, DOJ announced a new corporate crime section on its public website with a searchable corporate crime database. While this database represents a significant step towards improved data collection and transparency in federal corporate criminal enforcement, more robust, complete tracking and analysis of corporate crime, as required by the Corporate Crime Database Act, is necessary to provide full disclosure to the public and accountability for bad actors.

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