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What penalties are available to the courts for violations of corruption laws by individuals?
The Criminal Code punishes the active bribery of domestic public officials with:
- imprisonment of between three and six years;
- from 365 to 700 ‘penalty days’; and
- debarment (ie, deprivation of office, prohibition from holding public office, suspension of political rights, prohibition from exercising a profession (attorneys and others) and removal of honorary titles).
The prison sentence for transnational active bribery is between five and eight years.
Fines and penalties force the convicted felon to pay the state a monetary amount expressed in terms of penalty days. One penalty day is equal to the average daily income of the convicted felon and is determined pursuant to his or her assets, rents, remuneration, expenditure level and other external signs of wealth.
In addition, both individuals and companies may be held liable in civil court for negligent or tort actions filed by a plaintiff seeking monetary compensation for damage caused in connection with bribery-related crimes. Only the person suffering the relevant damage has standing to file a claim involving such actions.
Companies or organisations
What penalties are available to the courts for violations of corruption laws by companies or organisations?
With the approval of Law 30424 (April 21 2016) and Legislative Decree 1352 (January 6 2017), as of January 1 2018 companies will bear administrative liability for the crimes of transnational active bribery and active bribery of domestic public officials or servants. If a company is found guilty of any of these crimes, the court can order the following administrative penalties:
- a fine of up to six times the benefit obtained or expected through the crime;
- debarment in any of the following ways:
- suspension of company activities for up to two years;
- prohibition on future activities of the same class or nature as those in which the crime was committed, favoured or concealed. The prohibition may be temporary (up to five years) or final; and
- suspension from contracting with the state for up to five years;
- the cancellation of licences, concessions, rights and other administrative or municipal authorisations;
- the closure of business premises or establishments temporarily (up to five years) or permanently;
- dissolution; and
- intervention into the company to safeguard the rights of workers and creditors for up to two years.
In addition, companies may be considered third-party obligors and subjected to civil damages arising from a crime. Companies may also be subject to certain administrative penalties when a crime is perpetrated by carrying out the business purpose of an entity or using its body corporate to help or conceal criminal activity, provided that an individual connected to the corporation is found guilty of the crime. In these cases, the criminal judge may apply any or all of the following administrative penalties:
- temporary or permanent closure of the corporate headquarters;
- dissolution and liquidation;
- suspension of corporate activities for up to two years; and
- a temporary or permanent prohibition on carrying out the corporate purpose deemed to have helped or concealed the criminal activity.
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