APPENDIX 1Criminal Responsibility of Legal Entities and Regulatory Compliance1


Most countries have introduced laws for the criminal liability of legal entities. The criminal liability of legal entities has been spreading since the end of the last century as a result of the process of international harmonization in the European Union (1997–2000).

The main reasons for the introduction of a criminal liability system of legal entities in the legal system are, in general terms, the perception of companies as a focus of commission of crimes, and the need to involve the partners and the companies.


Legal entities are criminally liable for crimes committed in their name or by them, and in their direct or indirect benefit, by their legal representatives or by those who are authorized to make decisions on behalf of the legal entity or who hold faculties of organization and control within it.

They are also criminally liable for crimes committed in the exercise of social activities and on behalf of and for their direct or indirect benefit, by those who, being subject to the authority of the natural persons mentioned in the previous paragraph, have been able to carry out the acts for having seriously failed to comply with those duties of supervision, monitoring, and control of its activity, taking into account the specific circumstances of the case.

Legal entities can be exempt from liability if the crime is committed by people indicated in the first ...

Get Detecting Accounting Fraud Before It's Too Late now with the O’Reilly learning platform.

O’Reilly members experience live online training, plus books, videos, and digital content from nearly 200 publishers.