Matthew J. Feeley, Shareholder in the firm’s Litigation Section, was quoted in the Policy and Regulatory Report about a landmark SEC decision in a corruption case related to the FCPA. The SEC decided to enter into a non-prosecution agreement (NPA) with Ralph Lauren Corporation over bribes paid to government officials in Argentina. This decision might encourage other companies to receive such reduced penalties by self-disclosing FCPA violations.

Some critics of how the U.S. government handles FCPA violations believe that companies enter into NPAs for activities that do not violate the FCPA in an attempt to avoid prosecution and more stringent penalties. The SEC is likely to follow the Department of Justice in using such legal provisions to handle allegations of foreign bribery.

Feeley explains, “The Ralph Lauren NPA reflects the SEC’s stated commitment to increasingly use NPAs and DPAs [deferred prosecution agreements] in FCPA enforcement. The SEC’s policy is similar to that of the Department of Justice, which has entered into more NPAs and DPAs in recent years.”

“The use of NPAs provides the SEC an opportunity to publicize examples of conduct, compliance programs and remediation efforts that it wants to encourage and it provides the market with increased certainty regarding best practices for the mitigation of FCPA risk,” Feeley adds.

Read the full article (for subscribers) - “Landmark SEC decision in corruption case could encourage more FCPA 'self-disclosures' – attorneys” (April 22, 2013 – Policy and Regulatory Report)