November 6, 2014
"How do you even punish a corporation? You can't put companies in jail, literally, they don't exist. They're artificial," said UVa Law Professor Brandon Garrett.
Garrett spent years researching what really went on when companies got in trouble with the federal government and turned all of his findings into a book called, 'Too Big to Jail'.
"A corporation can be responsible in a way for what its employees do, you can fire the employees you can put employees in jail but if the company has a nasty culture that encourages cutting corners or even committing crimes then I think it's appropriate to punish the company," he said.
Over the past few years companies like Sears, Google, HSBC and others have faced federal prosecution, whether it was for some sort of fraud or even illegal marketing of a product.
Many major corporations are often given a slap on the wrist after breaking the law.
"They don't look like violent crimes, these aren't like street criminals that knife someone or shoot someone, but these are crimes that can cause billions and billions of dollars of damage," said Garrett.
"They never get indicted. They never get convicted. Prosecutors say, look we want to be careful with you because you're a big and important company. We'll let you show good behavior basically for two or three years, you'll pay a big fine and then we'll call it quits," he said.
Garrett hopes by highlighting these cases consumers can become better informed about what's really going on behind the scenes.
"It's really important for the public to get involved particularly because not that much has been made public about these cases, these are the biggest and most important cases of all time," he said.
For information on how to purchase 'Too Big to Jail", click the link on the side of the page.