The Department of Justice (“DOJ”), Fraud Section’s guidance for Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (“FCPA”) investigations and prosecutions, commonly referred to as the “Pilot Program,” will remain in place when the one-year pilot period ends on April 5. The extension was announced on March 10, 2017 by Acting Assistant Attorney General Kenneth A. Blanco in a speech at the American Bar Association’s National Institute on White Collar Crime. Blanco explained that when the Pilot Program expires, the DOJ will evaluate its “utility and efficacy” to determine “whether to extend it, and what revisions, if any, we should make to it” and stated that “[t]he program will continue in full force until we reach a final decision on those issues.”
The DOJ launched the Pilot Program in April 2016 to “promote greater accountability for individuals and companies that engage in corporate crime by motivating companies to voluntarily self-disclose FCPA-related misconduct, fully cooperate . . . , and, where appropriate, remediate flaws in their controls and compliance programs.” To achieve these objectives, the DOJ allocated greater resources to FCPA investigations and prosecutions. The Pilot Program also set forth requirements for voluntary self-disclosure, cooperation, and remediation in FCPA cases. Companies that meet these requirements are eligible to receive outright declinations or reduced fines and penalties.
In “FCPA Enforcement Trends: Will They Continue?,” published by the New York Law Journal last week, Elkan Abramowitz and I describe the Pilot Program and discuss several aspects of recent FCPA resolutions. We then discuss how the resolutions allow for a partial assessment of DOJ’s FCPA enforcement efforts and give clues as to how FCPA enforcement may proceed in the new Trump administration. The DOJ’s extension of the Pilot Program indicates that aggressive FCPA enforcement is likely to continue, at least for the foreseeable future while the DOJ evaluates the Pilot Program. It remains to be seen whether and how the new administration will modify the Pilot Program to reflect its own goals and strategies.
Blanco emphasized that “[t]he Criminal Division remains committed to doing its part by vigorously investigating and prosecuting international crime when it violates U.S. laws, and by remaining committed to international collaboration in our nations’ shared struggle to safeguard our citizens, our markets and financial systems, and our networks.” This indicates that FCPA enforcement is not likely to end under the new administration, as some have feared based on the comments critical of the law made by the President in 2012.
From The Insider Blog: White Collar Defense & Securities Enforcement.