On 1 January 2015 the Act on the expansion of possibilities to act against corporate and white collar crime came into force. This Act introduces more opportunities to detect and prosecute corporate and white collar crime and imposes stricter sentences. The maximum prison sentence for corporate and white collar offences has increased and for corporations an adjustable fine limit has been introduced, under which the court can impose a fine of up to the higher of EUR 810,000 and 10% of their annual turnover.
The penalties for the abuse of governmental subsidies and the bribing of officials and non-officials have been expanded and updated. Also the maximum sentences that can be imposed with respect to bribery and money laundering have been increased. Courts can now impose an adjustable fine on a corporation of up to the higher of EUR 810,000 and 10% of its annual turnover. Furthermore, the possibility to deduct costs from the criminally obtained gain is limited. Finally, persistent offenders in the category of less serious corporate crimes will also become subject to penalties.
This law not only affects corporations and their management in that they risk higher sentences and being deprived from gains obtained through criminal means, it also enables broader methods of detection and increases coercive measures against them. As a consequence of the increase in the maximum sentence for non-official bribery and the penalties for systematic violation of the less serious corporate crimes, it is possible to arrest suspects and take them in to custody even if they are not caught in the act. In addition, the investigation authorities can more easily record telecommunications. Furthermore, the statute of limitations for non-official bribery and (consistent) violation of the Economic Offences Act is extended from six to twelve years, as a consequence of which corporations and their management are exposed to the risk of prosecution for a substantially longer period of time.