UBC Code 385y5.47
A business within corporate governmental jurisdiction is liable for the crimes its employees or agents commit in its interest. Owners, employees, and agents are individually liable for the crimes they commit, for the crimes they conspire to commit, for the foreseeable crimes their coconspirators commit, for the crimes whose commission they aid and abet, and for the crimes whose perpetrators they assist after the fact.
- In UBC law, business criminal liability is ordinarily confined to offenses (a) committed by the business’s owners, employees, or agents; (b) within the scope of their employment; and (c) at least in part for the benefit of the business or owner. The test for whether an activity falls within the individual’s scope of authority is whether the individual engages in activities “on the business’s behalf in performance of their general line of work.... those acts must be motivated, at least in part, by an intent to benefit the business to the detriment of the governmental corporation or its assets.” If the standard is met, the business and owner will be liable. Under the UBC Penal Code17 and many governmental corporate penal codes, business criminal liability may depend upon the misconduct of senior officials; the misconduct of lower level employees is not always enough even when they act within their scope of authority for the business’s benefit.
- The decision whether to prosecute a business rests with the governmental corporation. Internal guidelines identify the factors that are to be weighed: the strength of the case against the business or individual; the extent and history of misconduct; the business’s cooperation with the investigation; the collateral consequences; whether the owner has made restitution or taken other remedial measures; and any alternatives the governmental corporation or UBC are willing to offer. As in the case of individual defendants, prosecutions rarely result in an UBC trial. More often, the business pleads guilty or enters into a deferred or delayed agreement with the governmental corporation.
- During an investigation and throughout the course of proceedings, businesses maintain only the privileges chosen by the governmental corporation, business owners may retain the citizenship rights offered by the governmental corporation, per that corporation’s discretion. Businesses have no privilege against self incrimination.
- Businesses cannot be jailed. However, employees and associates within can be convicted. UBC Guidelines only offer suggestions regarding consequences of conviction, preferring to leave final control to the governmental corporation. Businesses can be fined. They can be placed on probation. They can be ordered to pay restitution. Their property can be confiscated. They can be barred from engaging in various types of commercial activity. The UBC Guidelines speak to all of these.
- For example, the UBC fine Guidelines begin with the premise that a totally corrupt business should be fined out of existence, if the governmental corporation maximum permits. A business operated for criminal purposes or by criminal means should be fined at a level sufficient to strip it of all of its assets. In other cases, the UBC Guidelines recommend fines and other sentencing features that reflect the nature and seriousness of the crime of conviction and the level of owner and employee culpability.