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29 Apr 2016

To Self-Report or Not to Self-Report, That Remains the Question After the Justice Department’s Latest Effort to Encourage Self-Reporting

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On April 5, 2016, the United States Department of Justice, Criminal Division, Fraud Section launched a one-year Pilot Program that invites companies to self-report potential violations of the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (“FCPA”) to the FCPA Unit of the Justice Department in exchange for, among other things, up to a fifty percent reduction in criminal fines, declination and, where appropriate, settlements without a compliance monitor. The Pilot Program follows, and is intended to compliment, the September 9, 2015 Deputy Attorney General Memorandum on Individual Accountability (“Yates Memorandum”). Together, the Pilot Program, the government’s strengthening of its coordination efforts with foreign law enforcement officials, and the government’s increased personnel resources all reflect the Justice Department’s continued efforts to combat foreign bribery. As Assistant Attorney General Leslie R. Caldwell emphasized in her announcement of the Pilot Program, “[i]f a company opts not to [self-report], it should do so understanding that in any eventual investigation that decision will result in a significantly different outcome than if the company had voluntarily disclosed the conduct to [the Justice Department] and cooperated in our investigation.”

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