A corporate entity has rights and powers that ordinary people do not, so they are more than "just groups of people". They are independent entities all their own.
Further, they can only exist because the government grants them that privilege, and the government can technically place any restrictions they like on them. In the past, the government used to require that the corporation serve the public good as part of the conditions for their existence.
I don't think it's right or accurate to characterize corporations as just "groups of people" and therefore they should have the rights of people. The law and the courts don't think so, either, which is why corporations are treated differently (with fewer rights) than people are.
> The responsible corporate officer (RCO) doctrine holds that a corporate officer is indirectly liable for a subordinate's criminal conduct when the officer is in a position of responsibility. The officer can be prosecuted if he has the authority and the ability to stop the offense and yet fails to act.
The RCO doctrine does not require proof that the officer either participated in or authorized the crime.