You are currently viewing Las personas jurídicas también pueden ser sancionadas en el proceso penal

Legal entities can also be sanctioned in criminal proceedings

When it is determined that a legal entity is linked to crimes that may be related to Organized Crime and Terrorist Financing, the company may be subject to sanctions. in the framework of the criminal process, However, these sanctions are only of an "administrative" nature, since, as is evident, criminal prosecution of an immaterial organ is not possible. Venezuelan state-owned companies are excluded from this responsibility.

However, the governing bodies or the representatives of such legal entities shallThe Organic Law against Organized Crime and Financing of Terrorism, enacted in 2012, clearly establishes that "Organized Crime" could also be understood as activity carried out by a single person acting as a body acting as an organism of the company. The Organic Law against Organized Crime and Financing of Terrorism, enacted in 2012, clearly establishes that "Organized Crime" could also be understood as the activity carried out by a single person acting as an organ of a legal or associative person, with the intention of committing crimes provided by law.

On the liability of legal entities

The former Organic Law against Organized Crime, enacted in 2005, established "the criminal liability of legal persons", a term not accepted by some authors and which opens the debate, since it indicates that a legal person cannot be "criminally liable", except for the persons who direct them or those responsible for them; in any case, the current law of 2012 modified the concept and establishes only "the liability of legal persons".

The Special Law establishes that the following are considered organized crime offensesThe prerogative applies to all the criminal offenses typified in this law, those contemplated in the Criminal Code and those contemplated in other special laws, provided that they are executed by an organized criminal group, emphasizing that the aforementioned prerogative applies to acts committed by a natural person, provided that the same acts as an organ of a legal or associative person. For example, the directors of a real estate company could be criminally prosecuted after using the entity as a vehicle to commit crimes of continuous frauds or "massive" frauds, in real competition. In this case, it could be applicable within the criminal proceeding initiated, the imposition of sanctions to this commercial company.

As part of the possible sanctions established, the following are listed:

  1. Definitive closure of the legal entity in the case of the intentional commission of the crimes defined in this Law.
  2. Prohibition of commercial activitiesindustrial, technical or scientific.
  3. Confiscation or forfeiture of the instruments that were used for the commission of the crime, illicit goods and proceeds of crime in any case.
  4. Full publication of the judgment in one of the newspapers with the largest national circulation at the expense of the legal entity in any case.
  5. Fine equivalent to the value of the capitalThe penalty for money laundering shall not apply to the proceeds, property or assets in the case of money laundering or to the proceeds of crime in the case of application of the sanction of paragraph 2 of this article.
  6. Refer the proceedings to the corresponding bodies and entities. for the purpose of deciding on the revocation of concessions, authorizations and administrative authorizations granted by the State.

In the case of legal entities of the banking or financial system, or any other sector of the economy In the case of companies that intentionally commit or contribute to the commission of crimes of organized crime or financing of terrorism, the Public Prosecutor's Office will notify the supervisory body for the application of the administrative measures that may be applicable. Example: Superintendency of Banks and other Financial Institutions or Superintendency of Insurance.

Sources consulted: