Sample letter to send to your Senators and Representatives

U.S. House of Representatives

Washington D.C. 20515


United States Senate

Washington D.C., 20510


Dear [Member of Congress]:

I was listening to the Ralph Nader Radio Hour and heard an interview with Columbia Law Professor John Coffee about his new book Corporate Crime and Punishment: The Crisis of Under Enforcement.

            I urge you to listen to this program and to read the book.

The corporate crime wave and violence inflict far more damage on society than all street crime combined.

I may have missed it, but I haven’t seen any public statements you have made on this problem of corporate crime. If you have, please send it along.

The legislation should include the creation of a corporate crime database—the corporate crime equivalent of the FBI’s annual Crime in the United States report, which focuses on individual crime. Long overdue.

Coffee proposes that the legislation should, at a minimum, end the promiscuous use of deferred prosecution agreements, abolish non-prosecution agreements, use stigma and shame to combat corporate crime, bring back corporate probation and, as a condition of probation, restrict incentive compensation, encourage corporations to turn on their top culpable executives, encourage whistleblowers through bounties, encourage the top civil enforcement agencies like the under-staffed Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) to hire outside lawyers to litigate corporate enforcement cases, allow civil enforcement agencies like the SEC to direct a portion of the corporate penalties they collect to their own low enforcement budgets and address the growing problem of the revolving door.

I look forward to hearing your thoughts on the current wave of corporate crime and violence sweeping the nation—Purdue Pharma (tens of thousands of opioid deaths and no prison time for executives), GM ignition switch (124 documented deaths, not one executive prosecuted), Boeing (346 dead, not one executive prosecuted), the massive Wells Fargo heist (no criminal prosecution of executives), the VW toxic emission crime, major oil spills, workplace trauma and diseases, mass billing frauds, pharmaceutical caused casualties, and the endless scams and swindles, especially on the elderly, to name a few recent examples—and the need for Congressional hearings and up to date legislation to address this growing assault on our public health, safety, and rule of law.

Please do not send us a form letter.



P.S. Do you wish to ask the Congressional Records Service for corporate crime reports and the executive branch’s enforcement record?



CC: Interested Parties