News Release

Say it: “Corporate Crime”

A tweet from the Gravel Institute went viral: “Someone stole $950 worth of items from a Walgreens — there were 309 news stories about it. Walgreens was caught stealing $4.5 million from employees — it got just one single story.”

RUSSELL MOKHIBER, russellmokhiber@gmail.com, @corpcrimereport
    Mokhiber is editor of Corporate Crime Reporter. He just wrote the piece “Call Corporate Crime Corporate Crime.”

    He writes: “Can’t we just call corporate crime — corporate crime?

    “No we can’t.

    “Apparently, major non-corporate institutions are so beholden to the corporate powers that be that they can’t even speak — or write the phrase.

    “Instead they prefer a word that means the opposite of crime.

    “That word?

    “Compliance. …

    “NYU Law School has a program to study and report on corporate crime. But they call it the NYU Law Program on Corporate Compliance and Enforcement. …

    “Earlier this year, the Justice Department put out a press release titled — ‘Boeing Charged with 737 Max Fraud Conspiracy and Agrees to Pay over $2.5 Billion.’

    “Purdue Pharma and Boeing were two of the largest corporate crimes in recent years.

    “The Boeing corporate crime caused the deaths of 346 innocents in two crashes — one in Ethiopia and one in Indonesia. The Justice Department settled a criminal investigation with a deferred prosecution agreement with the company that the department said ‘holds Boeing accountable for its employees’ criminal misconduct.’

    “In what way? No corporate guilty plea. No executives were charged. No manslaughter charge. Only a lowly deferred prosecution agreement with no monitor to check on future wrongdoing.

    “In 2006, federal prosecutors in Virginia drew up a more than 100-page prosecution memo that laid out the case of Purdue Pharma.

    “The memo was featured in a New York Times mini-documentary titled — ‘A Secret Memo that Could Have Slowed an Epidemic.’

    “The epidemic was the opioid epidemic that has now killed hundreds of thousands of Americans.

    “Had the prosecutors been allowed to move on their memo and bring felony charges against key Purdue Pharma executives and proceeded in a full out prosecution of the company and its high ranking executives and owners, the epidemic could have been limited, saving tens of thousands of American lives.

    “But high-powered corporate criminal defense attorneys went over the heads of line prosecutors to high ranking officials at Main Justice and limited the range and scope of the prosecution.

    “All this avoidance of the term corporate crime is totally predictable. These major American institutions — the law schools, the mainstream media, the legal profession as a whole, are beholden to corporate America.”