The recent and very prominent media coverage of the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA) and money laundering charges brought by the Department of Justice (DOJ) and the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) against employees at Direct Access Partners, a New York broker-dealer, and a senior Venezuelan bank officer highlight an important shift in FCPA and anti-bribery enforcement.
New York City Bar Association, “Securities Arbitration and Mediation – Hot Topics 2013,” New York City.
One of the most difficult and consequential decisions a company faces when presented with a corruption allegation is the decision whether or not to self-report to the government. On the one hand, Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA) enforcement officials uniformly cite voluntary self-disclosure as one of the most critical elements of the government’s decision to award cooperation credit.
FINRA Annual Conference, “FINRA Disciplinary Proceedings,” Trial Tactics and Strategies – Securities Industry Perspective, Washington, D.C.
The appropriate place for compliance in the organizational structure of large and more sophisticated companies has been a matter subject to substantial debate within company management, and it is fair to conclude that the stakeholders in this debate—senior management, external boards, the office of general counsel and senior compliance officials—do not necessarily see eye to eye. General counsel often chafe at the prospect of independent compliance management that operates outside their direct reports.
The recent Department of Justice and Securities and Exchange Commission guidance1 on the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act does not break new ground, but it does offer internal and external counsel, as well as ethics and compliance professionals, a user-friendly guide to the agencies’ priorities.