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New rules for fraud prosecution

August 29, 2008|From Times Wire Services

The Justice Department issued new guidelines to rein in prosecutors pursuing corporate fraud cases, bowing to pressure from Congress.

The changes bar the government from demanding that companies turn over confidential legal materials to win leniency in plea deals.

The revisions also prevent prosecutors from penalizing companies that pay attorney fees for employees under investigation.

The shift is a victory for the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, the American Bar Assn. and other groups that have spent more than three years arguing that the Justice Department's tactics violated employees' constitutional rights and gave prosecutors unfair leverage to force settlements with companies.

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