A U.S. Department of Justice official said in remarks this week that the agency is making a “concerted effort” to speed up the pace of Foreign Corrupt Practices Act investigations, and that the agency expects cooperating companies to do the same.
In remarks made at the Anti-Corruption, Export Controls & Sanctions 10th Compliance Summit on April 18, Acting Principal Deputy Assistant Attorney General Trevor McFadden said that over the last few years, the Justice Department has hired additional trial attorneys in the Criminal Division’s Fraud Section’s FCPA Unit “to help investigate cases more quickly, and the Fraud Section leadership and I are focused on wrapping up old investigations.”
McFadden said, “This will maximize our ability to bring cases against responsible individuals, before applicable statutes of limitations have run or evidence is lost.”
Such an effort benefits cooperating companies, as well. “No executive wants to deal with a lingering government investigation or the associated costs and distraction from the company’s mission,” he said.
“We expect cooperating companies to work with us to prioritize internal investigations and to respond to Fraud Section requests promptly to ensure there are no unnecessary delays,” McFadden added. “My intent is for our FCPA investigations to be measured in months, not years.”
During his remarks, McFadden also reiterated the importance of transparency as it concerns the Justice Department’s enforcement policies and practices. “The Fraud Section’s Pilot Program is one example of an effort to provide more transparency and consistency for our corporate resolutions,” he said.
McFadden added that the agency is “now conducting a full assessment of it. In our review, we are examining whether there is more that we can do to promote voluntary compliance with the law and what more we can be doing to provide appropriate transparency regarding our expectations and prosecutorial priorities.” In the meantime, he said, the pilot program “will continue in full force.”