Matteson Ellis Quoted on Anti-Corruption Efforts in Brazil, Mexico in Latinvex

"Brazil & Mexico: Contrasts in Corruption Fight"

Latinvex

02.28.2018

Matteson Ellis was quoted regarding anti-corruption efforts in Brazil, Mexico, and the enforcement environment across the region. Brazil has Latin America's highest share of Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA) cases; based on publicly available information, Miller & Chevalier has identified nearly 20 companies that are being investigated by U.S. authorities related to Lava Jato, so U.S. enforcement regarding Brazil-related misconduct is not likely to slow down, Ellis said, adding that he expects coordination between U.S. and Brazilian authorities will continue to be significant, as the concept of penalty splitting between U.S. and Brazilian authorities is now well-established, creating a greater incentive for Brazilian authorities to pursue and resolve multi-jurisdictional cases. In Mexico, energy sector reform and a growing economy have led to an increase in investments in traditionally high-risk sectors for corruption. "Recent cases have involved active coordination between U.S. and Mexican authorities and, even while the Trump Administration has taken a harder stance towards relations with Mexico, we see no signs that enforcement cooperation will decline," he said, adding that Mexico typically ranks high on the list of countries with FCPA violations, coming in first or second, but Mexico-related corruption and fraud work has the potential to escalate depending on how quickly Mexico implements its new National Anti-Corruption System. "When the Mexican Government does select its first National Anti-Corruption Prosecutor pursuant to the new system, this will likely lead directly to more enforcement activity on both sides of the border," Ellis said. Overall, new anti-corruption laws throughout Latin America will impact the enforcement environment of the region. "With their new anti-corruption laws in place, Colombia, Argentina, Peru, Chile, and select other jurisdictions will continue to build local capabilities to investigate and bring corruption and fraud cases, and U.S. authorities are certain to get involved when conduct involves the United States," Ellis said. "Practitioners are finding that compliance work in these jurisdictions is picking up, albeit at varying paces. The rate of investigative activity in these jurisdictions going forward is difficult to predict and will depend on levels of investment by global companies in higher risk sectors and the frequency with which corporate misconduct is exposed. It is important to note that the FBI has had an agent stationed in Colombia at various times over the last few years whose focus has been to gather evidence to initiate cases, a level of engagement that could very well continue."