Now is the Time to Enhance FCPA Enforcement, DOJ Official Declares

Now is the Time to Enhance FCPA Enforcement, DOJ Official Declares

 Calling FCPA and anti-corruption enforcement a "core priority of the Department of Justice," Mythili Raman, Acting Assistant Attorney General, Criminal Division, recounted the Department's successes across the nation and its coordination around the globe. "Keynote Address at the Global Anti-Corruption Congress," Washington, D.C., June 17, 2013 (here). Since 2009 the DOJ has resolved over 40 corporate corruption cases. Those include nine of the top ten largest settlements in terms of penalties in the history of the Act, resulting in about $2.5 billion being paid in monetary fines.

FCPA enforcement is not, however, just about corporate settlements, the Acting Deputy AG emphasized. Rather, a key focus is the prosecution of individuals across the country. Since 2009 the Department has successfully secured the conviction of over three dozen individuals. Indeed, over the last two months FCPA charges have been brought, or guilty pleas obtained, against 12 executives and others. The "message" from these cases, is clearly that "we are now - more than ever - holding individual wrongdoers to account."

The U.S. is not acting alone in these efforts, Ms. Raman emphasized. To the contrary, the Department is working closely with countries around the world. For example, at the conclusion of the recent settlements between the DOJ, the SEC and French oil and gas giant Total, French enforcement authorities requested that the Chairman, CEO and two other company executives be referred to the French Criminal Court for violations which include the foreign bribery law. This is the first coordination by U.S. and French enforcement officials on a bribery case.

At the same time the DOJ is working closely with the OECD and others around the globe. The Department is assisting the OECD with its reviews of programs in other countries. Its program is also subject to analysis by the organization. The recently published Guide to the FCPA, prepared by the Department and the SEC, is the outgrowth of one such review. It may be today "the most comprehensive effort ever undertaken by either the Justice Department or the SEC to explain our approach to enforcing a particular statute" the Acting Assistant A.G. noted.

The Department is also coordinating with officials from other countries. In February of this year the DOJ, SEC and FBI hosted an "unprecedented" meeting of 130 judges, prosecutors, investigators, and regulators from more than 30 countries, multi-development banks, and international organizations" around the world for training and an exchange of ideas in combating foreign corruption. The conference also furthered specific prosecutions. From all of this there is a "momentum of so many countries . . . I am certain that now is the time to enhance, not diminish, our anti-corruption efforts. The fight against global corruption is a critical mission. . . " the Acting Assistant Attorney General declared.

ABA Seminar: Fifth Annual FCPA Update: Protecting Your Business in the Future: Lessons from the New DOJ-SEC FCPA Guide, June 19, 2013 from 1:00 -2:30 p.m. EST. The discussion will focus on building effective compliance systems and conducting M&A due diligence. Co-moderators: Thomas Gorman and Frank Razzano. Panel: John Buretta, Principal Deputy to the Assistant AG, DOJ; Charles Cain, Deputy Director, FCPA Unit, SEC Division of Enforcement; Catherine Razzano, Assistant General Counsel, General Dynamics Corporation; Steve Siegel, Senior Counsel, Northrop Grumman Corporation; Ryan Ong, Director of Business Advisory Services, U.S. China Business Counsel. Live in Washington, D.C at 600 14th St. N.W., Penthouse (no charge for ASECA members attending live in Washington who pre-register by sending an e-mail to cvitko.diane@dorsey.com). Webcast nationally by the ABA and available in other Dorsey & Whitney offices. For further information please click here.

For more commentary on developing securities issues, visit SEC Actions, a blog by Thomas Gorman.

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