Kevin Abikoff was quoted by Main Justice, an online publication that covers the U.S. Justice Department, in a story about the Diebold Inc. foreign bribery settlements.
The Oct. 22, 2013 article was headlined, “In FCPA Settlement, Diebold Gets a Corporate Monitor Despite Voluntary Disclosure.” According to Main Justice, the Ohio-based maker of automated teller machines and other service technologies is the first company in nearly four years to receive a corporate monitor in a Foreign Corrupt Practices Act settlement after voluntarily disclosing its potential violations to US authorities.
Abikoff said while voluntary disclosure works in a defendant company’s favor, it will not cure all problems by itself. “I think the DOJ will openly say voluntary disclosure certainly gets you some benefit towards leniency,” he said. “If the underlying behavior is systematic, operates at a high level or is significant or extended, the self-disclosure won’t get you so far.”
Abikoff added that a separate reason for imposing a compliance monitor could be to improve a company’s “nascent” compliance efforts and may not necessarily reflect the gravity of the government’s allegations. “I don’t consider it penal in nature, I consider it a remedy, which is different,” he said.