Seaboard Case

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  • Published : April 3, 2013
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1. According to the 2004 US Sentencing Guidelines, Seaboard would be considered criminally liable for the actions of its employee, Ms. Meredith. Based on these guidelines, we would focus on the principle of Organizational Culpability. Under this principle, an organization is criminally responsible for the actions of its employees. Despite an organization’s effort to prevent illegal activities within the organization through its policies, procedures and operating principles, they are still responsible for an employee’s illegal actions. However, under the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines, there are opportunities for the mitigation of an organization’s punishment. There are six factors that a sentencing court will consider. The first four would increase the ultimate punishment of an organization. These factors are: involvement in or tolerance of criminal activity, prior history of the organization in terms of prior violations, the violation of earlier court orders during the occurrence of the offense which is being prosecuted, and the obstruction of justice. Seaboard did not violate any of these four factors, and therefore, the sentencing court would have no reason to consider increasing the organization’s ultimate punishment. The remaining two factors that a sentencing court considers will mitigate the punishment of an organization. These factors are: the existence of an effective compliance and ethics program and the combination of the organization’s efforts in self-reporting, cooperating with the authorities, or accepting responsibility. Seaboard swiftly initiated an internal investigation and disclosed publicly. They displayed the use of a structured compliance program through their internal auditing and detailed process in which they produced reports and transcripts of the investigation. In accordance with the second factor, Seaboard exuded remorse and offered their full commitment and cooperation to the investigation. In addition, Seaboard...
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