February 02, 2009
The ABA’s Anti-Corruption Committee held a Brown Bag Lunch on January 30th: FCPA Enforcement Under the Obama Administration? A Look Ahead…
Although understandably reluctant to predict how the Obama Administration might impact enforcement of the FCPA, Panelist Gerald Hodgkins, Assistant Director of the Division of Enforcement at the SEC, was asked to provide his personal predictions for 2009. Not surprisingly, these trends mirror those of the DOJ, posted here on January 28th, in large part because of the extraordinary level of cooperation between the DOJ and SEC on these cases.
Mr. Hodgkins predicts:
- continued high levels of voluntary disclosure of potential FCPA violations by companies;
- continued focus on specific industries and industry-wide investigations;
- continued imposition of large fines and disgorgement, alongside cases with more modest numbers;
- more actions brought against individuals;
- continued use of compliance monitors; and
- increased international cooperation.
He also added three trends that he hopes to see in the future, which included companies paying more attention to how their joint ventures operate, increased whistle-blowing by competitors, (rather than just employees) and, finally, he echoed the widely-held hope in the business community that government officials will slow the pace of bribe-demands. Skeptics in the audience indicated that they thought this unlikely during difficult economic times.