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An Examination of the Criminalization of Commercial Activity

By Mary B. Neumayr
July 22, 2002

In the days and weeks following the dramatic collapse of energy giant Enron, the calls for legislation designed to avert "the next Enron" began. In recent months, numerous legislative and regulatory proposals have been put forward, and government authorities have instituted high profile criminal investigations and prosecutions of well known U.S. companies. Sweeping accounting reform legislation, which will include dramatically increased criminal penalties for corporate executives, is expected to be enacted shortly. All of these developments have served to make corporate America and the general public far more aware of criminal enforcement in the commercial sphere.