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Good Companies Commit Crimes, But Great Leaders Can Prevent Them [READ THE BOOK]


It's time for leaders to go beyond "check the box" compliance programs. In a fraught ethics and legal climate, leaders need to know how to steer clear of trouble more than ever.

Through corporate cases involving Walmart, Wells Fargo, and others, Eugene Soltes explores the thorny legal issues executives must navigate in his book

  • Corporate Criminal Investigations and Prosecutions.

Released in September, this book offers A comprehensive resource on everything from

  1. The history of corporate criminal liability law to
  2. Investigation procedures,
  3. Foreign corrupt practices, and
  4. Virtual currency.


  1. Eugene F. Soltes, the McLean Family Professor of Business Administration at Harvard Business School,
  2. Daniel Kahn and Leo Tsao held senior positions in the US Department of Justice's criminal division and are now Harvard Law School lecturers.

Eugene F. Soltes says the book speaks to

  • "How organizations are actually held criminally accountable,"

Soltes made a media splash with his 2016 book,

  • Why They Do It: Inside the Mind of a White-Collar Criminal.


  • Based on personal visits, letters, and phone calls with 48 disgraced executives—among them, the late Ponzi fraudster Bernie Madoff and convicted Enron executives—
  • He concluded that their crimes were seldom calculated but rather inspired by gut feelings and a striking absence of empathy for the clients who lost their money.


  • Soltes talked to HBS Working Knowledge about corporate wrongdoing's challenge for prosecutors and why good companies commit criminal violations.



  • Lane Lambert:
    • What inspired you to write this book?



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