Criminal compliance is the term used to describe internal company measures taken to prevent any violations against criminal laws.
Criminal law has become a government instrument used as a mechanism to steer economic developments. Lawmakers have created criminal regulations tailored specifically to real economic activity, which in addition to traditional criminal offenses such as fraud and embezzlement, find application just as in stock corporation law, stock market law and securities law, in criminal competition and corruption law, in criminal codes for environmental and tax offenses. It cannot be denied that when doing business in the corporate world, there will always be a risk of committing an offense under criminal law. Just as an example, consider the fine line between the degree of creativity that the law allows in the preparation of balance sheets and actually committing balance sheet fraud, or the difference between structuring tax measures and tax evasion, or also between permissible incentives and those that can be considered bribery in business transactions.
The purpose of criminal compliance is to prevent both outright criminal offenses that are damaging to a company (e.g. betraying trade and business secrets, disloyalty, embezzlement, theft) as well as offenses with the intent of supposedly profiting the company (verbal agreements amongst competitors, corruption, market manipulation, etc.).
The lawyers of our Practice Group support you in identifying relevant fields of risk from the perspective of white-collar crime law and criminal tax law, in performing internal company investigations as well as in structuring and improving a corporate system used to prevent criminal acts within the company.