CHALLENGES ON COOPERATION AMONG AUTHORITIES FOR LENIENCIES AND PLEA BARGAINING AGREEMENTS
Within the last five years, Brazil has undergone a deep political and moral revolution. ‘Operation Car Wash’, was seen as one of the biggest corruption and cartel probes in Brazilian history, and perhaps one of the biggest corruption scandals in the world. The scale of the operation was the result of the evolving nature of criminal, administrative and civil prosecution, represented by leniencies, plea bargaining agreements and the dawn raids which arise from such settlements.
Considering the high administrative fines and the harsh sentences imposed in recent corruption cases, the dynamics of incentive to cooperate have also been severely impacted. Defendants are considering executing settlements with the authorities earlier in the process in order to avoid such penalties. The increasing number of leniency and plea bargaining agreements struck in Brazil is indicative of this trend.
The Administrative Council for Economic Defense (CADE), the Brazilian antitrust watchdog, was the first body to implement a successful leniency programme in the administrative sphere. Nowadays, leniency agreements represent the main source of evidence of infringements considered by CADE, particularly regarding cartel investigations, and this has included almost all of the resources at the disposal of the authorities on the investigative side.
Jul-Sep 2017 Issue