corporate record in employee possession

The federal government was investigating a corporation and its employees. The alleged criminal wrongdoing, which included the falsification of corporate books and records, occurred between 1993 and 1996 in one division of the corporation. In 1999, th corporation pled guilty and agreed to cooperate in an investigation of the individuals who might have been involved in the improper corporate activities. “Doe I,” Doe II,” and Doe III” were officers of the corporation during the period in which the illegal activities occurred and worked in the division where the wrondoing took place. They were no longer working for the corporation, however, when, as part of the subsequent investigation, the government asked them to provide specific corporate documents in their possession. All three asserted the Fifth Amendment privilege against self-incrimination. The government asked a federal district court to order the three to produce the records. Corporate employees can be compelled to produce corporate records in a criminal proceeding because they hold the records as representatives of the corporation to which the Fifth Amendment privilege against self-incrimination does not apply. Should former employees also be compelled to produce corporate record in their possession? Why or why not?


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