Business Crime Quarterly Autumn 2017

 Business Crime Quarterly Autumn

The extent to which international regulators and prosecutors are increasingly working together to tackle economic crime, with joint investigations and synchronised enforcement action, is the overriding theme of this issue of Business Crime Quarterly. The OECD’s report, marking 20 years since the signing of its Anti-Bribery Convention, notes how, in 2016, the two main enforcement bodies in the U.S., the Department of Justice (“DOJ”) and the Securities and Exchange Commission (“SEC”) worked with a foreign law enforcement agency in over 40% of their resolutions. In a recent settlement of allegations against a Swedish company, the DOJ credited 13 other jurisdictions for assistance in its investigation. It is likely that this trend will only continue, with senior officials at both U.S. agencies expecting increased collaboration with overseas authorities in the future.

Moreover, the tools being used by national enforcement authorities are increasingly aligned. We report on the first deferred prosecution to be agreed under France’s new procedure, which resulted in a considerable fine for the bank concerned but did not include settlement for the individuals involved. A similar outcome was reached in the UK earlier this year in the Rolls-Royce plc investigation – three executives have separately now admitted related corruption. Anti-corruption drives in central and eastern Europe have had mixed results, but draft laws currently under discussion in Russia, Croatia and Poland will seek to reinforce anti-corruption legislation and safeguards for whistleblowers. Strengthening whistle-blower protection is recurring theme, with an extensive reform of whistle-blowing law under consideration in Australia, which would put it on a par with the U.S. and UK. Meanwhile, a new German law has introduced significant changes to the treatment of proceeds of crime, which may result in a greater number of confiscation proceedings being commenced there.

We include our usual round up of recent significant decisions in the U.S., UK, Australia, Hong Kong and Singapore and showcase our new publication, “Taking Stock”, which assesses anti-bribery and corruption law and enforcement in 24 key jurisdictions across the globe.

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