In an opinion excoriating U.S. Department of Justice prosecutors that “may have implications that extend well beyond this particular case,” Chief Judge Colleen McMahon of the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York targeted the so-called “outsourcing” of government investigations to companies and their outside counsel.

In particular, Judge McMahon held that the government effectively coerced Deutsche Bank — whose “only choice was about its ‘level of cooperation’ with the Government, not about whether to cooperate,” “given the draconian consequences that would likely ensue” if it did not, — to investigate alleged Libor violations, and then directed Deutsche Bank’s outside law firm to do “everything that the Government could, should, and would have done had the Government been doing its own work.”

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