FCPA Enforcement: Understanding the Role of the U.S. Department of Justice and the Securities and Exchange Commission
In this post, we will explore the role of two key entities involved in the enforcement of the FCPA: the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) and the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC).
U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ): The DOJ is responsible for enforcing the anti-bribery provisions of the FCPA. Key points to consider include:
a. Investigations: The DOJ investigates potential FCPA violations, often in collaboration with other law enforcement agencies and international counterparts.
b. Prosecutions: The DOJ has the authority to bring criminal charges against individuals and companies suspected of FCPA violations. Prosecutions can result in significant fines, penalties, and even imprisonment.
c. Corporate Compliance Program: The DOJ encourages companies to establish effective compliance programs and cooperate fully in investigations. Demonstrating robust compliance measures can lead to favorable outcomes, such as reduced penalties or deferred prosecution agreements.
Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC): The SEC is responsible for enforcing the accounting provisions of the FCPA. Key points to consider include:
a. Investigations: The SEC investigates potential violations of the FCPA’s accounting provisions, focusing on improper financial reporting and inadequate internal controls.
b. Civil Enforcement Actions: The SEC can bring civil enforcement actions against companies and individuals for violations of the FCPA’s accounting provisions. These actions can result in monetary penalties, disgorgement of profits, injunctions, and other remedies.
Understanding the role of the DOJ and the SEC in FCPA enforcement is crucial for companies engaged in international business. Compliance with the FCPA, cooperation with investigations, and implementation of robust compliance programs are essential to mitigate legal risks. Seeking guidance from experienced FCPA attorneys can help businesses navigate the complexities of FCPA enforcement and establish effective compliance measures.
Remember, this post provides a general understanding of FCPA enforcement, but legal advice should always be sought from professionals familiar with your jurisdiction and the specific circumstances of your business.