preview

Criminal Vs. Civil Law

Decent Essays
Criminal vs Civil Law
In this document, I will give definition to criminal and civil law and explain how corporate personhood allows for lawsuits to be filed in corporate America.
Criminal law, “a body of rules and statues that define conduct prohibited by the government because it threatens and harms public safety and welfare and that establishes punishment to be imposed for the commission of such acts.” Substantive criminal law there’s a crime and it may require punishment. Crimes can be defined as felonies or misdemeanors. Felonies are much serious with evidence proofing could be punishment of many years in jail or even death. While misdemeanors are less serious and punishment can be a fine or less than a year in jail. There
…show more content…
In a criminal lawsuit the Corporation can be sued, but the criminality falls to the bodies involved in the criminal activity at the company. Two significant criminal cases of criminal activities in this last century involved several executives, specifically the CEOs of Enron (2001) and MCI (2002) where criminal charges were brought against these leaders for fraudulent accounting practices. In Enron’s case $74 billion was lost in shareholder’s value, thousands of employee jobs, retirement accounts was lost and the company is no longer in existence. Two CEOS, Jeff Skilling and Ken Lay were convicted of 24 years of jail time. In the case of MCI/WorldCom, the company inflated profits by $11 billion, which resorted in $18 billion lost to investors, 30,000 jobs were lost. Bernie Ebbers MCI’s CEO was sentenced to 25 years in jail. These two criminal cases, created the greatest change in business regulations since 1930 and the Sarbanes-Oxley Act of 2002 (SOX) was put into place to protect investors from the possibility of fraudulent accounting activities by corporations. The SOX Act mandated strict reforms to improve financial disclosures from corporations and prevent accounting fraud.
Civil lawsuits against corporations can vary. They can be against branding, a contractual basis and even labor/human rights. In 1998, Marc Kasky filed suit
Get Access