The head of the DOJ says new corporate investigations for illegal activity such as foreign bribery and money laundering are underway.
“What you’re going to see is a very strong pipeline of investigations that will result in some resolutions in the very-near future, but may have been impacted by the COVID pandemic,” he said.
As Kenneth Polite steps down this month as the head of the U.S. Department of Justice’s Criminal Division, he will leave behind a flurry of major corporate settlements that he told Reuters in an exit interview will hit federal court dockets soon.
The types of resolutions he is referring to often involve large fines that companies pay to settle criminal charges of foreign bribery or money laundering.
In 2022, there were seven such global resolutions in which the DOJ was involved totaling $2.14 billion in penalties.
Polite said the department’s recent corporate investigations involved “much larger schemes and activities.”
Some of the global resolutions involved countries which partnered with the DOJ for the first time, such as the December 2022 joint resolution with South Africa and Switzerland to resolve foreign bribery charges against Swiss digital technologies company ABB.
“You are going to continue to see that type of innovation and groundbreaking over the next couple of resolutions that come out,” Polite said.
As the head of the Criminal Division, Polite oversaw investigations on everything from gun-trafficking and human smuggling, to ransomware attacks and financial fraud, reports Retuers.
In May, the DOJ said that more companies have begun to disclose illegal activity after the department upped rewards for doing so.
DOJ Says More Companies Are Disclosing Illegal Activity
Attorney General Kenneth Polite Jr. said the criminal division has already seen an increase in the number of corporate disclosures since the announcement of an expanded policy.
Under the policy, companies that disclose wrongdoing to the Justice Department, fully cooperate and fix underlying problems are eligible for discounts on financial penalties or even a promise that prosecutors won’t bring a case altogether.
Polite said the criminal division is also looking into increasing visibility into its enforcement actions, including in how it selects monitors in settlements and how and when it charges individual executives.
“At the end of the day, chief compliance officers have to be one of the voices that sign off on these resolutions,” he said.
“What you’re hoping to see is moving away from the CCO or compliance division being siloed.”
Deputy Attorney General Lisa Monaco last year said she was directing other components of the Justice Department to create their own self-disclosure policies, as part of an effort to increase investigations into corporate crime.
In an announcement earlier this year, Polite said the criminal division would formally expand the fraud section’s self-disclosure program to apply to other types of white-collar crime, per WSJ.
Today, retail investors are looking for solutions to the daily manipulation seen in the markets as stocks tank despite healthy buying pressure.
In May, the Securities and Exchange Commission said it awarded nearly $279 million to a whistleblower who helped the regulator and other agencies bring enforcement actions, the biggest award ever.
Chairman Gary Gensler has stated that the best way to root out injustices in the system is for whistleblowers to come out and enroll in the whistleblower program.
Under SEC rules, a whistleblower can receive an award of between 10% and 30% of the fines collected in SEC civil-enforcement actions and related actions from other enforcement agencies resulting from a tip, assuming the SEC collects more than $1 million.
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