Homer Moyer discusses the compliance risks faced by corporate boards and executives, as regulatory agencies in different countries increasingly coordinate their actions, targeting individuals as well as companies. For example, data compiled by Miller & Chevalier in its 2012 Winter Review show that the number of individuals facing trial on U.S. Foreign Corrupt Practices Act–related charges has surged in the past three years, from only four cases in 2009 to 19 cases scheduled for this year, with another 22 awaiting trial dates.
The risk of individual prosecution is also heightened by Dodd-Frank's whistle-blower provisions. One group of directors is particularly vulnerable to such activity, according to Moyer. "Audit committee members [must be] more vigilant and responsive," he says. "Audit committees are much more directly involved in exercising oversight of FCPA issues, internal investigations and potential violations."