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What is corporate crime
Under many laws in Victoria and Australia, corporations are treated as if they’re people. This means they can commit crimes. The way that corporations can commit crime depends on the specific laws, but can include:
- An employee, agent or officer of the corporation committing a crime as part of their employment;
- The board of directors or senior management intending, knowing or recklessly carrying out a crime;
- The board of directors or senior management expressly, tacitly or implied that they permitted the crime;
- Having a corporate culture that directs, encourages or leads to non-compliance;
- Failing to maintain a corporate culture that requires compliance; and
- Inadequate management, control or supervision that means the company doesn’t have adequate systems to convey information.
The prosecution doesn’t always have to prove that the company intended to commit the crime or had a motive. Instead they just need to prove that the crime was committed. These cases are often called strict liability or absolute liability offences.
When investigating a crime committed by a company, employees or officers of the company may be interviewed and documents may need to be provided.