On November 3, 2016, Acting Assistant Attorney General Renata Hesse spoke at the Golden State Antitrust, UCL and Privacy Law Institute about the Antitrust Division’s criminal enforcement program.  Hesse began by describing the Antitrust Division’s record of successful prosecutions throughout the Obama Administration.  Hesse discussed the Antitrust Division’s emphasis on holding individuals accountable, stating that “looking back across the past eight years, the ratio of individual to corporate convictions is more than two to one—353 individual to 150 corporate convictions.”  Hesse also described the Antitrust Division’s focus on compliance and remediation, noting that the Antitrust Division remains “unwilling to credit compliance programs that failed to detect or deter the antitrust crimes for which we prosecute a corporate defendant.”  She added: “The sentencing guidelines do not allow credit for nominal or ineffective programs, and if we’re prosecuting your client, you’ll have a difficult time arguing that its compliance program was neither.”  Hesse also noted, however, that where there are “extraordinary forward-looking efforts to change corporate culture,” those efforts “not only weigh against a sentence including [corporate] probation, but in exceptional cases can also qualify for a modest reduction to a criminal fine.”  Hesse then discussed the Antitrust Division’s decision to consistently initiate criminal investigations where there are credible allegations that employers are colluding to fix wages or not to solicit or hire each other’s employees.  Hesse then described the ways in which civil investigations can lead to criminal prosecutions.  For instance, Hesse said that the Antitrust Division has “redoubled its efforts to protect the integrity” of its investigations, including by criminally prosecuting obstruction crimes committed in the course of civil investigations.  Turning to the Antitrust Division’s leniency program, Hesse noted that “in type B corporate leniency scenarios, those employees of the applicant who admit to their criminal conduct and cooperate are usually included in the corporate leniency agreement.”  She cautioned, however, that the Antitrust Division has considered how the emphasis on individual accountability at the DOJ might apply in those instances too, with regard to some culpable individuals. DOJ Press Release