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On April 30, 2019, to provide greater transparency into prosecution decisions, the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) published “The Evaluation of Corporate Compliance Programs,” an update to its February 2017 guidance on the same topic. The new guidance complements the principles previously described by DOJ’s Fraud Section that prosecutors should consider when “conducting an investigation of a corporation, determining whether to bring charges, and negotiating plea or other agreements.” According to the Justice Manual, those factors include “the adequacy and effectiveness of the corporation’s compliance program at the time of the offense, as well as at the time of a charging decision” and the corporation’s remedial efforts “to implement an adequate and effective corporate compliance program or to improve an existing one.” The new guidance attempts to provide more detail as to how DOJ will evaluate corporate compliance programs in this context while better harmonizing the Criminal Division’s guidance with the rest of the department.

The guidance is organized in a comprehensive fashion under three basic, overarching questions that compliance departments should consider:

  1. Is the corporation’s compliance program well designed?
  2. Is the program being applied earnestly and in good faith? In other words, is the program being implemented effectively?
  3. Does the corporation’s compliance program work in practice?

Click here to read the full GT Alert.

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Photo of Michael R. Sklaire Michael R. Sklaire

Michael R. Sklaire is the Co-Managing Shareholder of the Northern Virginia Office and focuses his practice on government investigations, business crimes, and financial litigation and regulation. He has wide-ranging experience as a trial lawyer, including more than 11 years with the U.S. Department

Michael R. Sklaire is the Co-Managing Shareholder of the Northern Virginia Office and focuses his practice on government investigations, business crimes, and financial litigation and regulation. He has wide-ranging experience as a trial lawyer, including more than 11 years with the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ). He handles jury trials, non-jury trials, class action litigation and arbitrations, both domestic and international. Michael represents corporations and executives before federal agencies including the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB), the Federal Trade Commission (FTC), and the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) . He also provides corporate compliance advice and conducts internal investigations in matters relating to procurement fraud and the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA). Michael is frequently quoted in national publications as having wide-ranging experience handling public corruption, securities fraud and parallel civil and criminal investigations. He has published numerous articles and frequently lectures on a variety of legal issues.

Michael’s commercial litigation practice focuses primarily on assisting clients in the financial services industry including local and national banks, consumer finance companies and mortgage bankers. He represents large private and public companies in complex litigation matters in federal and appellate courts around the country.

Photo of Nathan J. Muyskens Nathan J. Muyskens

Nathan J. Muyskens is Co-Chair of the White Collar Defense & Special Investigations Practice and defends corporate and individual clients in criminal grand jury investigations and prosecutions, internal investigations, regulatory inquiries and enforcement matters, and related parallel civil proceedings. Nate defends companies in…

Nathan J. Muyskens is Co-Chair of the White Collar Defense & Special Investigations Practice and defends corporate and individual clients in criminal grand jury investigations and prosecutions, internal investigations, regulatory inquiries and enforcement matters, and related parallel civil proceedings. Nate defends companies in corruption investigations and other matters related to the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act, and has experience handling government antitrust investigations on behalf of companies in various industries, such as health care, air travel, defense, pharmaceuticals, energy, chemicals, home products, and technology. Nate is active in court and behind the scenes, working with prosecutors to abandon investigations before they have been made public or charges are filed.

Nate’s recent work includes co-leading a white collar defense trial victory in U.S. v. Flotron – the first ever acquittal in a commodities “spoofing” trial. Additionally, he represents numerous executives in the financial industry in a variety of government fraud investigations.  He has also represented a number of individuals and companies in the Special Counsel and Southern District of New York’s investigation into alleged improprieties relating to the 2016 presidential election.

In addition, Nate has been trial counsel in numerous civil cases throughout the United States, including antitrust and trademark actions.