Six months from the date of closing. That’s how long acquiring companies have under the newly announced Department of Justice (DOJ) Mergers and Acquisitions (M&A) Safe Harbor Policy to disclose misconduct discovered in the context of a merger or acquisition – whether discovered pre or post-acquisition. And the acquiring company has one year from the date of closing to remediate, as well as provide restitution to any victims and disgorge any profits.
Over the last two years, the DOJ has made clear its priority to encourage companies to self-disclose misconduct aiming to ...
In response to a recent Department of Justice (DOJ) request that all DOJ components write voluntary self-disclosure policies and “clarify the benefits of promptly coming forward to self-report [as] a good business decision,” on January 17, 2023, Assistant Attorney General (AAG) Kenneth Polite, Jr. announced updates to the DOJ Criminal Division’s Corporate Enforcement and Voluntary Self-Disclosure Policy (CEP). The updated CEP, policy 9-47.120, which was previously known as the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA) Corporate Enforcement Policy, expands the applicability of the CEP to now apply to all corporate criminal matters handled by the DOJ’s Criminal Division. The updated CEP, which is effective prospectively only, offers new, significant, and concrete incentives to corporations to have effective compliance programs, to voluntarily disclose allegations of criminal misconduct (including that of its officers, directors and employees), to fully cooperate with the government’s investigation of alleged misconduct, and to timely and appropriately remediate the misconduct. In announcing the updated policy, AAG Polite stated, “Our number one goal in this area – as we have repeatedly emphasized – is individual accountability. And we can hold accountable those who are criminally culpable—no matter their seniority—when companies come forward and cooperate with our investigation.”
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