Corporate Fraud: Civil and Criminal Consequences of a Decade of Financial Collapses

This course exposes law students to the “real world issues” of major civil and criminal corporate fraud. Nationally recognized lawyers and judges present weekly case studies of many of the largest and most notorious corporate fraud of the last twenty years. The speakers were (and are) active participants – as prosecutors, public defenders, defense counsel, judges, and plaintiffs’ lawyers – in many of the nation’s major corporate fraud investigations, lawsuits, and trials. The students, in teams of four, then immerse themselves in a simulated internal investigation of one of seven high-profile corporate fraud case studies. Each student writes an in-depth internal investigation report, and each team of four makes a formal presentation of their investigative findings to the defrauded company’s “New Board of Directors” (Professor Fairbank and the rest of the class). The goal of the class is to give each student a very realistic and exhilarating introduction to the factual, legal, ethical, and strategic issues involved in the world of major civil and criminal corporate fraud.

I have taught this course on corporate fraud at USC since 2004 and taught a similar joint seminar at Stanford Law and Business Schools in 2007.

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