U.S. Attorney General Releases New DOJ Charging and Sentencing Policy – Little Impact Anticipated for White Collar Cases and FCPA Pilot Program

On May 12, 2017, U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions issued a two-page memorandum setting forth a new charging and sentencing policy for the U.S. Department of Justice (available here). Except in limited circumstances, the new policy directs federal prosecutors to charge criminal defendants with “the most serious, readily provable offense,” and requires them to disclose to the sentencing court “all facts that impact the sentencing guidelines or mandatory minimum sentences.”  The new policy rescinds a memorandum that former Attorney General Eric Holder issued on August 12, 2013 (available here), which instructed federal prosecutors to “conduct an individualized assessment of the extent to which charges fit the specific circumstances of the case.”

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