Restitution for the Corporate Victim

October 30, 2017 Published Work
Connecticut Law Tribune

Corporations and businesses of all varieties risk falling victim to crimes committed by their employees and becoming ensnared in criminal investigations of their vendors and business partners. When wrongdoers are convicted federally, the Mandatory Victims Restitution Act (MVRA) requires that they make restitution for losses directly caused by their criminal conduct. In addition to direct losses, entities often incur additional losses when cooperating with and responding to a government investigation.

The MVRA provides for the recovery of these ancillary losses, but there is more to the process than simply submitting an invoice to the government to qualify for restitution. Indeed, recent cases make clear that there are limits to how far courts will go in making victims whole. To ensure maximum recovery for their clients, counsel should know of the limitations and how to present a successful claim.

Corporations as a "Victim"

Of course, to qualify as a victim entitled to restitution under the MVRA, a corporation must be "directly and proximately harmed as a result of the commission of an offense for which restitution may be ordered." Qualifying offenses include: (i) crimes of violence; (ii) offenses against property, including any offense committed by fraud or deceit; and (iii) offenses related to tampering with consumer products.

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