Newbie here, describing a situation -

Let's say more than one member/director of a company attempts to take over chairmanship by illegally influencing, threatening etc. and the coup becomes known and thwarted. What will be they charged with by the police ?

In corporate setting you have 'usually' a vote in democratic manner, i.e. one person one vote for board vote. There are people who have preferential shares and have more weight, but for this argument those people are taken out, i.e. they are not there.

Now let's say a bad actor uses illegal means i.e. threatening, bribing and using whatever means to oust and be the chairman (an example) or put vote in whichever direction they want.

I do think there would be some laws as there is something called 'corporate ethics' . Would be very surprised if there aren't any laws to take care of situations like these if it can be proven that such things happened.

What would be the charges, for example in the U.S. for such situations ?

  • Police would almost never be involved in a situation like this one. The corporate law governing this situations would differ materially from jurisdiction to jurisdiction. – ohwilleke Dec 4 '16 at 18:19
  • @ohwilleke - have updated my query to use U.S. as an example. – shirish Dec 4 '16 at 18:21
  • In the U.S., every different state has its own corporate laws and they differ greatly from state to state. The law of Delaware, for example, would be different from the law of New York, Colorado, or Nevada. – ohwilleke Dec 4 '16 at 18:23
  • could you share the one which has the most severe, what would be the charges filed as, any precedent would be good. – shirish Dec 4 '16 at 18:25

Certain acts would be illegal (criminal), and others would not be. If a person engaged in an illegal act, he might be prosecuted (the police would only be involved in arresting the suspect: it is the prosecutor who would decide about criminal charges). Alternatively, an interested party (a shareholder for example) might sue someone for some civil wrong, such as a form of breach of contract, and that would depend on what the actual action was.

As an example of a legal threat, Smith can threaten "If you don't make me CEO, I will sell all of my shares to Jones" (and let's assume that the board or majority of shareholders don't like that outcome). If they dislike that outcome enough, they will vote for Smith: this is a legal threat. An illegal threat would be e.g. to kill the members of the board, blow up the plant, etc. That is, the act itself is illegal, thus the threat to do it is illegal. Not every technically illegal thing is subject to no-threat laws -- the list for Washington state is here, and doesn't include the threat of bigamy, which is itself a crime. Another possibility would be bribing a board member: "commercial bribery" is also against the law.

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  • I'm having difficulty thinking of a situation where threatening to commit bigamy would affect somebody's decision. – Tim Lymington Dec 10 '16 at 18:02
  • Well, my wife begs to differ; anyhow, there are a number of crimes whose threat to commit is not itself a crime, including, surprisingly, disclosure of intimate images. – user6726 Dec 10 '16 at 18:13

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