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5 aspects in the fight against corporate crime

Criminal Law
5 aspects in the fight against corporate crime

Characteristics of crimes within the company

Lawyers specialized in criminal law must differentiate the different characteristics of business crimes into the following types:

1) Intra-business crime

2) Breach of expectations of disloyalty

3) Modus operandi of the author who pretends to be imperceptible

4) Crime continued over time

5) Extremely serious crime

6) Crime without apparent victim

Typology of crimes within the company

Creation of a parallel company

It consists in the exploitation in a new company, of the intellectual property, the industrial property or the know-how of the previous company. The facts may have criminal relevance in light of article 278 of the Penal Code, which defines the crime of discovery and disclosure of company secrets.

Computer damage

Computer damage generally occurs in response to a labor dispute or a dismissal that the worker considers unfair. They consist of the destruction, alteration or uselessness of the data, programs or any other intangible asset housed in company networks, media or computer systems. The facts can carry out the penal type of article 264 of the Penal Code.

Confidential information and personal data

It consists of unauthorized access and subsequent disclosure to third parties, generally competitors or clients, of confidential company information. On some occasions, disclosure is made by workers who have legitimate access to information. The unauthorized transfer to third parties of personal data of workers and customers is also contemplated. The facts may have criminal relevance according to articles 197, 199 and 278 of the Penal Code.

Crime prevention mechanisms

The crime prevention activity in the company is configured to avoid damages and direct costs in the business heritage, such as avoiding liability actions against the employer for damages caused to third parties. It is essential to have prevention strategies to advance the "protection barriers" of legal assets by taking measures to protect legal assets that may be threatened.

Prevention Mechanisms:

1. Corporate identity.

In this section, the lawyers emphasize the importance of the worker being properly integrated in the workplace as an indispensable means of socialization. In this sense, all those measures that help the better integration or identification of the worker with the company will serve not only in a decrease in the probabilities of criminal behavior but in an optimization of the resources and the economic progress of the company. The humane treatment received by workers in the company is presented from this perspective as a decisive factor.

2. The establishment of a whistleblowing system.

Corporate crime and organizational diversion raise complex legal problems. However, previously there was an initial obstacle, the one related to the difficulties of identifying the very existence of the problem, when some type of irregularity has occurred. It is at this point that whistleblowing systems can perform a valuable service. Whistleblowers are workers willing to disclose the commission of unlawful actions within the framework of the company for which they work.

The complainant will be protected, establishing the corresponding mechanisms, against disciplinary or discriminatory measures adopted by the company or organization in response to their complaint.

In addition to specific protection for the complainant, as we have already seen, the protection of the reported employer / employee is also necessary given the serious risk of stigmatization and persecution of that person in the organization to which they belong.

Legal entities that implement complaint systems must take adequate measures to ensure that the identity of the complainants is confidential and is not disclosed to the accused throughout the investigation.

Contact us, and our lawyers specializing in criminal law will study your specific case. 

At Forcam Abogados we have offices in BarcelonaMadrid and Reus.