DOJ cooperation credit breakdowns: Albemarle, Tysers, H.W. Wood

Albemarle web

The path for any company seeking to earn cooperation credit from the Department of Justice (DOJ) starts at zero. Officials at the agency have been diligent in noting this while promoting the new methods available for businesses to earn steeper penalty discounts than ever before.

Getting to that point, though, takes work, and companies might not understand what terms like “timely,” “reasonably,” and “appropriate” mean to the DOJ in certain circumstances. Unfortunately, those determinations are case by case. But there is still much to be learned from recent enforcement examples.

To this point, Nicole Argentieri, acting assistant attorney general in the DOJ’s Criminal Division, shared in a speech last week where companies like Albemarle, Tysers Insurance Brokers, and H.W. Wood went right—and wrong—on the cooperation credit and remediation fronts as part of their settlements with the agency regarding alleged violations of the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA).

“[E]very case is different, and drawing hard-and-fast rules is nearly impossible. But we are committed to transparency and want to offer as much guidance as we can,” Argentieri said. “… Don’t focus solely on cooperation and forget the importance of remediation. Not only will a company’s remediation inform our decision as to whether or not an independent compliance monitor is warranted, but it also weighs significantly in our determination of the appropriate fine reduction.”

Below are highlights from Argentieri’s discussion of the criminal penalty determination process in each case.

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