August 1, 2002
MEMORANDUM FOR THE DIRECTOR, THE FEDERAL BUREAU OF INVESTIGATION
THE DIRECTOR, EXECUTIVE OFFICE OF UNITED STATES ATTORNEYS
ALL UNITED STATES ATTORNEYS
FROM: THE ATTORNEY GENERAL
SUBJECT: Implementation of the Sarbanes-Oxley Act of 2002
The President this week signed into law the Sarbanes-Oxley Act of 2002 (the "Act"). The Act provides tough new tools to expose and punish acts of corporate corruption, promote greater accountability by financial auditors, and protect small investors and pension holders. I hereby direct you to review the enclosed "Field Guidance on New Criminal Authorities Enacted in the Sarbanes-Oxley Act of 2002 (H.R. 3763) Concerning Corporate Fraud and Accountability" and take all appropriate steps to implement fully and expeditiously the provisions of the Act.
The United States Department of Justice will play a critical role in implementing the Act and in helping to restore confidence in America's corporations and financial markets. The Act equips the Department of Justice with new tools to hold white collar criminals accountable and imposes tough, consistent penalties for those who would threaten the integrity of our financial markets. Among other important provisions, the Act imposes new criminal penalties for securities fraud, attempts or conspiracies to commit fraud, certifying false financial statements, document destruction or tampering, and retaliating against corporate whistleblowers. The Act also contains enhanced penalties for mail and wire fraud and ERISA violations.
As the President has emphasized, it is vital that all components of the Department of Justice, including our United States Attorneys' Offices and Federal Bureau of Investigation Field Offices, work together to ensure that we take full advantage of the provisions of this new law to enhance our prosecution of significant financial crimes.
I thank you for your active participation in our continuing effort to expose and punish corporate fraud and to restore confidence in America's financial system.
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