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The Double Jeopardy Clause provides that no person shall be subject for the same offence to be twice put in jeopardy of life or limb. U.S. Const. amend. V. The Double Jeopardy Clause does not prohibit the imposition of any additional sanction that could, in common parlance, be described as punishment. The Clause protects only against the imposition of multiple criminal punishments for the same offense, and then only when such occurs in successive proceedings.
In February 1989, the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (OCC) issued a notice which alleged that three individuals who held positions as officers and/or directors of two Oklahoma banks had violated 12 USCS 84 and 375b by using the individuals' banking positions to arrange a series of loans to third parties. Pursuant to such notice, the OCC assessed a monetary penalty of $ 100,000 against one of the individuals and penalties of $ 50,000 each against the other two individuals. In addition, the OCC issued a notice, pursuant to the authority of 12 USCS 1818(e), that the OCC intended to bar the individuals from further participation in the conduct of any insured depository institution. In October 1989, the individuals resolved the OCC proceedings against them by each entering into a stipulation and consent order which provided that the individuals agreed (1) to pay assessments of between $ 12,500 and $ 16,500 each, and (2) not to participate in the affairs of any banking institution without the written authorization of the OCC and all other relevant regulatory agencies. In August 1992, the individuals were indicted in the United States District Court for the Western District of Oklahoma on charges of conspiracy, misapplication of bank funds, and making false bank entries. The violations charged in the indictment rested on the same lending transactions that formed the basis for the prior administrative actions brought by the OCC. The individuals moved to dismiss the indictment on grounds that the indictment violated the double jeopardy clause of the Federal Constitution's Fifth Amendment. The District Court ultimately granted the individuals' motion to dismiss (879 F. Supp 1113, 1994 US Dist LEXIS 20357). On appeal, the United States Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit, reversing, expressed the view that under United States v Halper (1989) 490 US 435, 104 L Ed 2d 487, 109 S Ct 1892--in which the United States Supreme Court had ruled that a civil sanction that could not be said solely to serve a remedial purpose, but rather could be explained only as also serving either retributive or deterrent purposes, was punishment for purposes of the double jeopardy clause--the monetary sanctions imposed on the individuals were not so grossly disproportional to the proven damages to the government as to render such sanctions punishment for double jeopardy purposes.
Did Double jeopardy clause bar prosecution for allegedly illegal lending transactions, where individuals had stipulated to sanctions in prior administrative proceedings involving transactions?
The court held that the double jeopardy clause was not a bar to the federal criminal prosecution of the three individuals, because Congress had intended that the OCC money penalties and occupational debarment sanctions imposed for violations of 84 and 375b be civil in nature, and there was little evidence--much less the "clearest proof" required under the Supreme Court's decision in United States v Ward (1980) 448 US 242, 65 L Ed 2d 742, 100 S Ct 2636--to suggest that either the OCC money penalties or debarment sanctions were so punitive in form and effect as to render them criminal despite Congress' intent to the contrary.