The Recorder: ”DOJ Sweetens Rewards for FCPA Cooperation”

”SAN FRANCISCO — The U.S. Department of Justice on Tuesday launched a pilot program that could significantly reduce the criminal penalties for companies that self-report violations of the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act.

In a six-page letter, the Criminal Division’s fraud section chief, Andrew Weissmann, outlined a plan to offer up to a 50 percent reduction on criminal penalties to companies that voluntarily disclose FCPA violations before any investigation is opened. In cases where an investigation is ongoing, the program could still offer as much as a 25 percent discount to companies that cooperate fully and hand over information on implicated individuals.

Under the pilot project, which will be reviewed and considered for renewal after a year, companies will still be required to disgorge any profits gained through foreign bribery schemes.

By and large, lawyers who represent companies facing FCPA investigations welcomed the move, saying that it could bring much needed transparency to the DOJ’s settlement process.

Baker & McKenzie partner Robert Tarun, who co-authored a law review essay in 2010 calling for the creation of an incentive plan similar to the one announced Tuesday, said the DOJ’s guidance will be seen as “a welcome development” by defense lawyers and public companies……..”

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Source: The Recorder

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