Economic criminal law: the government wants tougher action against criminal enterprises

Criminal activities in the company are in future to be punished harder. On Tuesday, the joint projects of the Union and the SPD has taken an important hurdle. T

Economic criminal law: the government wants tougher action against criminal enterprises

Criminal activities in the company are in future to be punished harder. On Tuesday, the joint projects of the Union and the SPD has taken an important hurdle. The Federal government introduced the "act to strengthen the integrity of the economy", which was submitted by the Federal Ministry of justice (COMMENTED), on the way. Still, the Bundestag has to approve the law, but it is clear that illegal business for companies significant penalties that will attract.

Marcus Young

editor in the economy.

F. A. Z.

The sanctions framework, yet at 10 million euros, capped, depending on the company's sales expanded. Based on the antitrust penalties corporations with a global annual turnover of more than EUR 100 million in the case of a criminal Offence to pay up to 10 percent of their annual income to the state Treasury. Smaller companies should pay in case of intentional Punished up to 10 million Euro, for the negligent Commission of up to 5 million euros are due.

a Few address major damage

"There are a few Criminals who do great harm," said justice Minister Christine Lambrecht (SPD) in Berlin. The vast majority of companies in Germany think that, of course, to the rule of law. "We should not be concerned with the law that the honest companies are Stupid." According to the Federal criminal police office criminal offences such as fraud and embezzlement make up the economy, while only one percent of all cases in the criminal statistics. With 3.38 billion euros in the year 2018, however there is a comparatively high amount of damage and the number of unreported cases is probably considerably beyond.

In your statement, Lambrecht referred to the rotten meat scandals of recent years, as well as the Diesel affair in the automotive industry. The responsibility could no longer be pushed only to the Individual. "It undermines trust in the rule of law, if not also of crime, benefiting companies will be held accountable. In the future, the state must identify the Prosecutor's offices not only against responsible managers and Employees, but also against the company.“

mine field internal investigation

The draft law enters into a legal minefield, which engages in addition to economic criminal law in the labour law and the companies requirements for compliance (Compliance). For the first time a legal framework for company internal investigations ("Internal Investigations in Germany") can be defined, such as whether the results of employee surveys, for law firms and auditors are commissioned, can be used against the company in criminal proceedings. In view of raids on offices of American law firm Jones Day, which studied the exhaust of fraud in the Volkswagen group, this step was overdue.

At the same time, the law sets incentives for companies, even in the investigation of crimes and help. This collides with the Rights of employees, especially because you don't have to accuse themselves of a Crime. "In corporate internal investigations, Employees may not be placed in an inadmissible way under pressure," said Lambrecht. Therefore, the applicable in the future: If internal investigations should lead to a Sanction mitigation, should employees be interviews in a fair and transparent, said the Minister.

Updated Date: 16 June 2020, 12:19

You need to login to comment.

Please register or login.

RELATED NEWS