Yates Memo Altered Cos.' Response To Probes, Panelists Say

August 14, 2017

Yates Memo Altered Cos.' Response To Probes, Panelists Say 

A panel at the American Bar Association’s annual meeting said former Deputy Attorney General Sally Yates’ instruction to pursue individual actors has had a greater effect on the companies being probed, rather than the officials conducting the investigation.

One member of the panel, a white collar criminal defense attorney, suggested that the memo has strained the relationship between companies and their employees. "If the purpose of the investigation is to seek to the truth, in some ways the focus on individuals has made that harder," said Jason Weinstein of Steptoe & Johnson LLP.

The co-chief of the complex frauds and cybercrime unit at the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of New York also agreed the memo has altered the way companies respond to probes. He also noted that the memo did not change the thinking of government prosecutors on pursuing individual actors. “people were very hungry to make those kinds of cases…[t]hey're still hungry to make them," he said.