New Justice Dept. policy aims to get tough on Wall Street fraud

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The Justice Department issued a new policy Wednesday that made the prosecution of Wall Street executives involved in financial fraud a major priority, all but acknowledging nagging criticism that powerful corporate figures have escaped criminal charges in favor of giant monetary penalties.

“Effective immediately, we have revised our policy guidance to require that if a company wants any credit for cooperation, any credit at all, it must identify all individuals involved in the wrongdoing, regardless of their position, status or seniority in the company, and provide all relevant facts about their misconduct,’’ according to Deputy Attorney General Sally Yates’ prepared remarks for a Thursday speech at New York University Law School.

“It’s all or nothing. No more picking and choosing what gets disclosed. No more partial credit for cooperation that doesn’t include information about individuals,’’ Yates said.

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