The Department of Justice (DOJ) will increase its efforts to build relationships and foster collaboration with its global counterparts to thwart bribery and corruption under a new strategy.
The international corporate anti-bribery initiative, announced in a speech delivered Wednesday by Nicole Argentieri, acting assistant attorney general in the DOJ’s Criminal Division, will see the agency focus on regions it believes can have the most impact on coordination and case generation and look to increase information sharing with their relevant regulators regarding threats to financial markets and illegal conduct.
“This initiative will leverage our prosecutors’ particular experience, expertise, and language skills, which will allow them to build relationships with counterparts around the world to facilitate cooperation and information sharing,” said Argentieri. “All of this will enhance our ability to identify—and to effectively investigate and prosecute—foreign bribery offenses affecting these regions.”
The initiative will be housed under the DOJ’s Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA) Unit and led by three unnamed prosecutors at the agency. Collaborative efforts will extend across the agency’s Criminal Division, the State Department, law enforcement, and data experts in fraud and money laundering to ensure success.
“Empowering experienced anti-bribery prosecutors to build critical relationships with our international counterparts in key parts of the world will result in enhanced information sharing, cooperation, and case development with our foreign partners,” Argentieri said. “This is yet another reason companies considering whether or not to disclose misconduct should take note: Call us before we, or our foreign partners, call you.”
Argentieri noted the DOJ’s recent ABB and Corficolombiana FCPA cases as examples where international coordination played a key role. The ABB case was the first the DOJ coordinated with South African authorities, while the Corficolombiana case was the first to involve Colombian authorities.
“Working with foreign authorities allows us to be force multipliers,” she said. “It makes evidence easier to obtain, leaves criminals fewer places to hide, and helps us recover criminal proceeds wherever they may be found. International cooperation also amplifies the deterrent value of corporate prosecutions—companies and their employees should understand that now, more than ever before, law enforcement partners around the world are working together to tackle complex financial crime.”