Pepper Hamilton partner Gregory A. Paw and Steve Szaroleta, director at Freeh Group International Solutions, LLP are quoted in the August 1, 2014 issue of Corporate Counsel in the article "Stepping Up Your FCPA Compliance Program."
The SEC and U.S. Department of Justice continue to crack down on FCPA enforcement, so when the Feds come knocking, companies should be able to prove they’ve taken appropriate compliance measures. A recent webinar from Pepper Hamilton and global risk management firm Freeh Group International Solutions, “Antibribery and Corruption Compliance: The Role of Transactional Testing and Accounting Controls in a Proactive Environment,” showed how companies can implement the sorts of policies that will help satisfy regulators and potentially stave off penalties.
An effective program to fight bribery and corruption is key both as a form of prevention and as a way of protecting the company in the worst-case scenario of a government investigation over the FCPA. “What organizations have seen is that wrongdoers have long utilized weaknesses in internal controls for nefarious purposes,” said Steve Szaroleta, a director at Freeh Group and one of the webinar presenters, “and an organization that cuts corners in compliance will find that they’re more susceptible to these types of rogue employee actions, such as bribery and corruption as well as general fraud and misconduct.”
Gregory Paw, a partner in the white-collar litigation and investigations group at Pepper Hamilton and another webinar speaker, pointed out that a good compliance program for bribery and corruption laws—while not an affirmative defense in and of itself—is part of the calculus for government investigators. If the compliance atmosphere is good at a company and the suspicious behavior is addressed once it comes to light, authorities typically will take this into consideration.