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Criminal Records

Under the Sarbanes-Oxley Act, you'd better think twice before destroying those business documents.

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This story appears in the May 2003 issue of Entrepreneur. Subscribe »

Last month, we discussed the whistle-blower provisions of the Sarbanes-Oxley Act, signed into law last summer to address corporate misconduct. Here's another provision business owners should be aware of: It's now a federal crime to intentionally destroy documents that might be evidence in a federal investigation.

If your business is the subject of a federal investigation, destroying documents that make the company look bad can get you in worse trouble than the original investigation. But the new law reaches beyond that provision to include companies that may have nothing to do with the suspected misconduct.

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