"Siemens Charges Fulfill DOJ Push to Target Individuals, but Hurdles Remain"Main Justice
Dave Resnicoff and James Tillen discuss the charges brought against eight former executives and agents of Siemens AG, following up on the government's promise that it would charge individual executives, not just companies, with violations of the FCPA. "The government for the last three or four years has faced some criticism from various directions, whether it's the Hill or commentators or even some judges, for bringing big cases against big companies and getting big settlements and not charging any big executives," said Resnicoff. "And the government has noted on occasion that many of these cases aren't over."
Resnicoff continued, "The underlying Siemens case was a huge and complex case, and this looks like it's not a simple case either. It involves evidence in three different jurisdictions requiring international cooperation and interviewing, in all likelihood, witnesses scattered around the world. It's not surprising that it would take this long to put this detailed a story together."
"Prosecuting individuals is very time consuming because they generally fight," Tillen said, pointing to lengthy investigations and trials. He called 2010 a banner year for FCPA enforcement. But this year, the pace slowed as more cases went to trial, sucking up resources. "In 2011, when the government had the Shot Show trial and the Lindsey trial, their [enforcement] numbers decreased," Tillen said. With resources spread thin, the government may have to make hard choices when it comes to foreign bribery enforcement. "For corporations, it certainly means that the model of relying on the internal investigation will continue," Tillen said. "The government may have to be choosier when it comes to prosecuting individuals, deciding which ones to go after." He added that with the expanded whistleblower protections and incentives in the Dodd-Frank act, "their plate can only get fuller."