By Susrut A. CarpenterCarl W. Hittinger and George A. Stamboulidis

On April 30, 2019, the Criminal Division of the U.S. Department of Justice (“DOJ”) released a new corporate compliance guidance document for prosecutors titled “Evaluation of Corporate Compliance Programs” (“Guidance”). The Guidance sheds light on how the DOJ evaluates the effectiveness of a company’s compliance program – whether white collar- or antitrust-oriented – focusing on the program’s design, implementation and practical application. Notably, this Guidance applies to the entire Criminal Division as opposed to only the Fraud Section, to which the prior 2017 guidance applied. In fact, the head of the DOJ’s criminal division, Assistant Attorney General Brian Benczkowski, in a speech at the 2019 Ethics and Compliance Initiative Conference, explained that one of the purposes of the Guidance is to “better harmonize the prior Fraud Section publication with other Department guidance and legal standards.”

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