Why the Direct Access Partners Case Matters for Financial Sector Anti-Corruption Compliance

With the filing of criminal and civil charges against employees of New York-based broker dealer Direct Access Partners, the government has opened a new chapter of FCPA enforcement in the finance sector.  The labyrinthine scheme alleged by the government and the financial company’s rapid disintegration following the revelation of the charges serve as a stark reminder to the financial services industry of the importance of periodically assessing the effectiveness and appropriateness of anti-bribery compliance programs.  In a guest post, Sean Hecker, Andrew M. Levine and Steven S. Michaels of Debevoise & Plimpton LLP discuss the most recent developments in the case, summarize the government’s charges against the lower level defendants Clarke and Hurtado and identify some of the unique risks faced by financial services firms stemming from the complex transactions in which they deal and the multiplicity of government entities with mandates that can encompass anti-bribery compliance.  See also “FCPA Charges against Broker-Dealer Stemming From Routine SEC Examination Is ‘Wake-Up Call’ to the Financial Services Industry,” The FCPA Report, Vol. 2, No. 10 (May 15, 2013). 

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