On December 9, 2016, Assistant Attorney General of the Department of Justice’s (“DOJ”) Criminal Division Leslie R. Caldwell announced that DOJ was seeking applicants for an attorney dedicated to enhancing cooperation with the United Kingdom’s Financial Conduct Authority (“FCA”) and the Serious Fraud Office (“SFO”) in London. This initiative signals DOJ’s continued efforts to fight fraud and economic crime on a global and interconnected scale. Caldwell remarked that international crime and worldwide fraud schemes have become the “new normal,” compared to when she began working at DOJ.
The to-be-hired Fraud Section attorney will be seconded to London for two years, the first with the FCA and the second with the SFO, before returning to Washington, D.C. for a third year to investigate and prosecute transnational economic crimes and provide training to other Fraud Section prosecutors on best practices and lessons learned at the FCA and SFO.
Caldwell remarked that the position “builds on years of parallel investigations and significant cooperation involving sophisticated economic crime and foreign corruption” with the UK’s regulatory counterparts. She cited the ongoing investigation into the manipulation of LIBOR as evidence of this strong international enforcement coalition. To date, DOJ’s Fraud Section has imposed nearly $2 billion in criminal penalties against six major financial institutions, charging 13 individuals. The SFO has charged 19 individuals and obtained arrest warrants for another five. Finally, the FCA has brought eight cases against nine firms involved in LIBOR and has prohibited seven individuals from participating in any way in regulated markets.
This new DOJ position has found great support with both the FCA and SFO. Both have expressed interest in sending attorneys from the two agencies to Washington to further strengthen the U.S.-UK working relationship. David Green, Director of the SFO, said the new DOJ position is “a concrete demonstration of the close and valued relationship we have built with our American colleagues, which has been so evident in our casework.” These international regulatory and enforcement agencies hope to build off the momentum of their joint efforts tackling the LIBOR-rigging scandal and continue their coordinated crackdown on transnational fraud and economic crime.