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Financial Services Law Insights and Observations


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  • SDNY pilots new whistleblower program to protect individuals

    Agency Rule-Making & Guidance

    On January 12, the SDNY launched its Whistleblower Pilot Program to protect individuals who report company wrongdoing from any future prosecution by the DOJ. The SDNY issued this program to encourage the “voluntary self-disclosure of criminal conduct” within white-collar practice areas undertaken in companies, exchanges, and financial institutions, among others. The program aims to reduce fraud or corporate failures affecting market integrity. Specifically, future whistleblowers who approach SDNY with a claim will enter into a non-prosecution agreement (NPA) only if the following conditions are met: the misconduct is not public and is not already known to the SDNY; the whistleblower discloses the information voluntarily, and is not in response to an inquiry or obligation; the whistleblower must assist in the investigation; the information is truthful; the whistleblower is not a government-elected or an appointed official, among others; and the whistleblower has not engaged in any criminal conduct. The policy also provides prosecutors and supervisors with factors to consider when deciding whether to enter into a NPA with a whistleblower.

    Agency Rule-Making & Guidance SDNY DOJ Whistleblower White Collar NPA

  • CFTC adds self-reporting of foreign corrupt practices by non-registrants to cooperation program

    Financial Crimes

    On March 6, the CFTC issued an enforcement advisory announcing that it would add violations of the Commodity Exchange Act involving foreign corrupt practices to its cooperation and self-reporting program. The CFTC will recommend no civil monetary penalty where companies and individuals which are not registered (or required to be registered) with the CFTC timely and voluntarily disclose such violations. Full cooperation and appropriate remediation would also be required. In announcing the enforcement advisory, the CFTC’s Director of Enforcement stated at the ABA’s National Institute on White Collar Crime that the change “reflects the enhanced cooperation between the CFTC and our law enforcement partners like the Department of Justice.” He also stated that the agency currently has open investigations into various foreign corrupt practices that violate the Commodity Exchange Act, including bribes that “secure business in connection with regulated activities,” manipulation of benchmarks, “prices that are the product of corruption [being] falsely reported to benchmarks,” and corrupt practices altering the commodity markets.

    Financial Crimes CFTC DOJ Commodity Exchange Act White Collar Of Interest to Non-US Persons

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