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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 theSarbanes-Oxley Act, signed into law last summer to addresscorporate misconduct. Here's another provision business ownersshould be aware of: It's now a federal crime to intentionallydestroy documents that might be evidence in a federalinvestigation.

If your business is the subject of a federal investigation,destroying documents that make the company look bad can get you inworse trouble than the original investigation. But the new lawreaches beyond that provision to include companies that may havenothing to do with the suspected misconduct.

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