It’s amazing and depressing to me to see just how much damage the five-man conservative majority on the Supreme Court is doing to the country. This time, they’ve decided that you can’t hold someone criminally liable for making materially false statements on financial documents if they are working for a corporation when they make those false statements. In a 5-4 decision authored by the genius Clarence Thomas, the Court ruled that only the corporation can be held liable and not the criminals and fraudsters employed by the corporation.
Justice Thomas acknowledged that the plaintiffs “persuasively argue that investment advisers exercise significant influence over their client funds.” But, he went on, “corporate formalities were observed” and the fund and its adviser “remain legally separate entities.”
Though the decision concerned investment advisers, its logic applies to bankers, lawyers, accountants and others who help prepare disclosure documents.
I don’t even see why corporations should want this ruling. It only encourages their employees to violate the law. I guess it just shows how mercenary corporate America has become. These CEO’s don’t stick around long enough in any one place for them to care about criminal liability for their corporation. They just want to be immune from prosecution when they steal.