With the new National Code of Penal Procedures entering into force and the reforms made to the Federal Penal Code on June 18 and 17, 2016, respectively, entities in Mexico may now incur criminal liability and, consequently, be severely sanctioned for crimes committed under the auspices and with the assets of the entity. The foregoing is regardless of the liability incurred by the individual whom committed, participated in or provided instructions as to the criminal act.

It may be possible to mitigate an entity’s criminal liability by demonstrating that authorized individuals monitor and take precautions to prevent criminal conduct by the organization.

Article 11 Bis of the Mexican Federal Penal Code establishes a list of crimes for which an entity may be punished, as well as the various special laws listing such crimes. These crimes include tax fraud, narcotics trafficking, bribery, fraud, transactions with illicit funds and crimes against the environment, among others.

Penalties for the individuals vary, so a judge may order the payment of fines or even order the dissolution of the entity that has been found guilty of criminal conduct.

It is thus important for companies to designate individuals to be responsible for monitoring corporate conduct, as well as procedures aimed at maintaining good business practices, for the purpose of preventing conduct that may involve the commission of a crime.