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DOJ ending practice of settlement by donation

The U.S. Department of Justice is ending the practice of allowing parts of certain settlement commitments to be donated to third-party groups that are not involved with the case the settlement is related to.

According to a June 7 news release, Attorney General Jeff Sessions issued a memo that prohibits any component of the Justice Department from entering into any agreement in settlement of federal claims or charges that directs or provides for a settlement payment to a nongovernmental third-party entity that was not directly harmed by the conduct.

The memo indicated that settlement funds should first go to victims of the wrongdoing — redressing harm, and punishing and deterring unlawful conduct — and then to the U.S. government, "not to bankroll third-party special interest groups or the political friends of whoever is in power," Sessions wrote.