Latin America-related FCPA actions likely to continue, expert says.
BY LATINVEX STAFF
Despite uncertainty about President-Elect Donald Trump, the US and international fight against corruption in Latin America is expected to continue, predicts Matteson Ellis, a partner at Miller & Chevalier and author of a new book, The FCPA in Latin America -- the first book that takes a regional approach to compliance and enforcement of the U.S. Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA).
“President-Elect Trump has already made it known that he sees little value in the notable progress the international community has made in the battle against transnational corruption, he says. “On the other hand, Senator Sessions, who is slated to be Attorney General, has been tough on corporate crime in the past as a federal prosecutor.”
Ellis -- the top expert on Latin America and the FCPA -- has spent several years in the region working for a Fortune 50 multinational corporation and a government ethics watchdog group. He is multilingual and is a frequent speaker on corruption matters in Mexico, Brazil, Colombia, Argentina and other Latin American markets.
Latinvex: Why did you decide to write this book?
Ellis: No one has yet written a book that takes a regional approach to FCPA compliance and enforcement. I thought there was a need for a book about how FCPA compliance functions best in Latin America, how practitioners bridge the divides between enforcement official expectations in the United State and the realities of compliance program implementation on the ground in the region. This books seeks to connect those two worlds.
Latinvex: Who is the target audience for the book?
Ellis: There are two target audiences for the book. First, FCPA compliance practitioners, lawyers, and business executives who are interesting in doing business in Latin America and are looking for insights into managing corruption risks there. One chapter of the book, for example, discusses common corruption risks in each major market in the region. The other target audience is Latin Americans involved in global business who want to know more about FCPA compliance expectations and enforcement trends, and how they themselves might be directly impacted. For example, one chapter discusses how to convey anti-corruption compliance concepts to Latin American executives.
Latinvex: How were you able to write the book in addition to your work as an attorney?
Ellis: The book took two years to write. I was able to draw on numerous articles I had already written over the last five years for the FCPAmericas Blog. I also had great support from other attorneys at Miller & Chevalier who helped research various subject matters. We're now working on the Spanish and Portuguese versions of the book, which should be released in 2017.
Latinvex: Do you expect any changes in FCPA enforcement related to Latin America under the incoming administration of President-Elect Donald Trump?
Ellis: It is still hard to say. President-Elect Trump has already made it known that he sees little value in the notable progress the international community has made in the battle against transnational corruption. On the other hand, Senator Sessions, who is slated to be Attorney General, has been tough on corporate crime in the past as a federal prosecutor. Whatever approach the new Administration takes, it will be hard to roll back the significant progress the international community has already made on anti-corruption matters. There is so much infrastructure now in place, through global treaties and cross-border enforcement cooperation, that I think it will be tough for the international anti-corruption agenda to go away.
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