In 2022, the Department of Justice (DOJ) and the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) obtained nearly $1 billion in total fines and penalties related to Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA) violations, making 2022 one of the top 10 highest grossing years with regard to enforcement penalties in the 45-year history of the FCPA. Foreign governments and other branches of the U.S. government recovered an additional $600 million in global settlement amounts related to those FCPA enforcement actions. After several years where the U.S. government did not require compliance monitorships following FCPA enforcement settlements, the DOJ imposed compliance monitorships in two FCPA settlements in 2022. As part of multiple FCPA settlements, for the first time, the DOJ and SEC required company officers to sign certifications regarding their respective company’s compliance programs. In addition, the U.S. government announced charges against 19 individuals for FCPA and FCPA-related conduct, representing one of the higher numbers of individual prosecutions ever pursued in a year.
The U.S. government continues to signal that both corporate criminal enforcement and individual accountability remain priorities. In September 2022, in remarks and an accompanying memorandum, DOJ Deputy Attorney General Lisa Monaco announced new policies that will govern the DOJ’s approach to corporate crime. See September 2022 GT Alert. The new DOJ policies focus on (1) holding accountable individuals who commit or profit from corporate crime; (2) evaluation criteria regarding past misconduct and the effectiveness of its compliance program; (3) cooperation efforts by companies, including voluntary self-disclosures; and (4) factors the DOJ will consider in appointing and selecting compliance monitors.
Following is a snapshot of 2022 FCPA enforcement: