DOJ Likely to Cast Wide Net in VW Scandal

Volkswagen Scandal Puts Yates Memo to the Test
– Compliance Week

Compliance Week interviewed Manatt's John Libby, co-chair of the firm's Corporate Investigations and White Collar Defense practice, for an article on how the U.S. Department of Justice is likely to respond to the Volkswagen scandal after having recently promised to prosecute individuals more vigorously.

Compliance Week reports that Volkswagen's scandal erupted just after the Justice Department released its Yates Memo, which states that companies must provide the department with all relevant facts relating to the individuals responsible for misconduct, if the company hopes to receive cooperation credit during that investigation. For Volkswagen, that effectively means whatever evidence it uncovers in the course of its internal investigation, it must turn over to the government to be considered cooperative.

Libby told the publications that specific types of evidence the Justice Department likely will be seeking include e-mails, technical documents concerning the development of the software, and testimony from employees. "They're going to cast a pretty wide net," said Libby.

"Whether the individuals are located here or Germany, prosecutors in both countries certainly would be looking to hold individuals responsible for what appears to have occurred there," Libby said. Because the conduct appears to be deliberate, "that's the type of situation where you'd want to see individual responsibility," he added.

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