Compliance programs have achieved a notable level of scrutiny lately, particularly in Latin America in the wake of Operation Car Wash. Since then, Latin America continues to be a main focus for Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA)-related investigations and enforcement actions instituted by the United States Department of Justice and the Securities and Exchange Commission.
On December 4, partner Paula Anderson (New York-Litigation) spoke on a panel titled, “The Consequences of Failed Compliance Programs for Latin American Companies: Lessons Learned From Operation Car Wash and Other Tales,” which addressed the consequences of failed compliance programs, with a specific focus on enforcement trends. During the program, Paula provided the audience with an analysis of recent FCPA and anticorruption enforcement trends in Latin America, case studies based on past enforcement actions and how monetary penalties compared across jurisdictions. She also provided an overview of the key tenets of an effective compliance program and discussed how companies with effective programs have been able to secure declinations and avoid prosecution by U.S. enforcement authorities, or when prosecuted, significantly reduce the penalties imposed.
The event, which was co-sponsored by the New York City Bar Association’s Inter-American Affairs Committee, the Cyrus R. Vance Center for International Justice and Columbia Law School Brazilian Association, featured speakers who offered different perspectives on the issue based on their respective backgrounds. Moderated by a Brazilian federal district court judge, this experienced panel provided an all-encompassing view of the compliance and investigatory best practices in the region, as well as the lasting effects of corruption investigations, including high-stakes securities litigation and reduced access to capital markets.