Last week, Attorney General Jeff Sessions issued a memorandum prohibiting Department of Justice “components” and the United States Attorney’s Offices from entering into any agreement on behalf of the United States in settlement of federal claims or charges that directs or provides for a settlement payment to non-governmental, third parties (that were not directly harmed by the alleged conduct). As a part of the statement, Attorney General Sessions stated: “When the federal government settles a case against a corporate wrongdoer, any settlement funds should go first to the victims and then to the American people — not to bankroll third-party special interest groups or the political friends of whoever is in power . . ..”
I have participated in a few such settlements (of environmental criminal charges) over the years and not once has any part of a settlement/fine/penalty ever gone to “bankroll third-party special interest groups or the political friends of whoever is in power . . ..” Rather, in the last plea settlement I did, a significant portion of the penalty was to be paid to the local fire department for use to benefit the community in which the facility was located. That is not to say that what Attorney General Sessions is saying does not happen; however, it is akin to throwing the baby out with the bath water. Some rather good things can actually come from these types of payments. Perhaps the better course would be to review and readdress how and when the payments are made instead of prohibiting them.
You can see it all here - https://www.justice.gov/opa/pr/attorney-general-jeff-sessions-ends-third-party-settlement-practice
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