The Southern District of New York expresses concern with government’s “outsourcing” of corporate internal investigations

In a recent decision that could have critical implications for corporate internal investigations conducted pursuant to a government agency’s request, the Southern District of New York expressed concern with the government’s “routine[ ] outsourcing” of investigations to the targets of those investigations seeking cooperation credit.

The Court’s opinion in United States v. Connolly et al., No. 1:16-cr-00370-CM, slip op., ECF No. 432 (S.D.N.Y. May 2, 2019) noted the corporate target’s “uniquely coercive position” over its employees, who may also be potential targets of the investigation. Going forward, Connolly has the potential to profoundly affect the structure and scope of cooperation agreements between the government and the corporate targets of criminal investigations.

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