Enforcement of corporate crimes, which languished for two years during the COVID-19 pandemic, will grow more vigorous this year and may be accompanied by significantly tougher penalties, partners with Vinson & Elkins’ (“V&E”) Government Investigations & White Collar Defense practice say.
In a dramatic departure from prior practice, the U.S. Department of Justice (“DOJ”) recently released its second Opinion Procedure Release (“OPR”) in the last two years, following a half-decade of dormancy, and perhaps responding to criticism from the business community, DOJ actually provided actionable and immediate guidance to a company facing imminent harm.
Partners Palmina M. Fava in Vinson & Elkin’s New York City office and Fry Wernick, as well as associates Brian L. Howard II and Peter T. Thomas, all in the firm’s Washington, D.C. office, joined Natura & Company’s Group Chief Legal and Compliance Officer, Itamar Gaino Filho, and Group Vice President of Ethics & Compliance, Richard P. Davies, to author a new chapter on the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA) for Thompson Reuters’ Successful Partnering Between Inside and Outside Counsel.
Foreign Corrupt Practices Act Enforcement Leaders at the DOJ and SEC Signal Increased Enforcement, an Upswing in Coordinated Investigations and Resolutions, and a Focus on Individual Actors to Dismantle Corporate Wrongdoing
With the holiday season upon us, companies waiting for a nice surprise this Christmas are more likely to find a lump of coal in their stocking. In a series of recent announcements, Department of Justice (“DOJ”) officials have signaled a number of key changes to white collar crime enforcement that harken the return of the Ghost of DOJ Past.
On November 10, 2021, the United States District Court for the Southern District of Texas granted a motion to dismiss Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (“FCPA”) charges brought against a Swiss resident and citizen, rejecting the government’s argument that the Swiss national was an agent of a wholly owned subsidiary of Petróleos de Venezuela, S.A. (“PDVSA”).
The peril of FCPA punishments often is perceived as arising exclusively from government agencies like the DOJ and SEC, and other emerging enforcement agencies both domestic and international.
On May 28, 2021, President Biden submitted his Budget for Fiscal Year 2022 to Congress, including $35.3 billion for the Department of Justice (“DOJ”), which was an overall increase of almost $4 billion from the previous administration’s DOJ request for Fiscal Year 2021.