In Mexico and elsewhere, regulators and enforcement agencies are taking a hard stand against improper and unethical business practices. Almost every day, the media reports on another investigation into corporate fraud, corruption, bribery or collusion.
To ensure compliance with the complex framework of laws, regulations and governance requirements, and to detect and prevent potential violations, Mexico-based businesses (or those which do frequent business here) would be well-advised to consult a team of legal professionals with strong local capabilities and experience.
Our experts have worked on a full range of bribery and anti-corruption matters, both cross-border and domestic – often involving multiple jurisdictions and collaboration with local experts and law enforcement agencies. Crimes handled by our attorneys include false accounting, commodities and currency fraud, bank fraud, tax fraud, insider dealing, kickbacks, embezzlement and money laundering.
New anti-corruption statutes
In July 2016 the National Anti-Corruption System passed into law, the most sweeping package of anti-corruption reforms enacted in Mexico’s history. Built upon the 2012 Federal Law Against Corruption in Public Procurement, it promises severe sanctions for misconduct on both individuals and corporations.
As a result of these new laws, organizations that fail to take proactive steps to prevent bribery are now subject to strict liability penalties. Companies from the US and UK (as well as other jurisdictions) must also comply with international anti-bribery legislation such as the US Foreign Corrupt Practices Act and the UK Bribery Act.
Our lawyers have an in-depth understanding of the criminal and regulatory environment imposed on companies doing business both in Mexico and abroad. We combine this with civil litigation expertise and knowledge of our clients’ industry sectors to provide a comprehensive service which covers all aspects of white collar crime, both civil and criminal.
AFAM’s criminal attorneys have handled a diverse range of criminal fraud cases, including:
- Bribery and corruption
- Money laundering and asset forfeiture
- Insurance fraud
- Securities fraud
- Wire fraud
- Identity theft
- Employee fraud
- Investment fraud
- Property fraud
- Procurement fraud
- Mail fraud
Key evidentiary issues
In 2008, the Mexican Congress passed constitutional reforms for new oral adversarial proceedings that now rely on rules of criminal procedure to define terms related to asset forfeiture. These reforms complicate a number of key issues.
The biggest, in our opinion, is that Mexican judges – both as triers of fact and of law – often fail to acknowledge the prejudicial effects of wrongfully-admitted evidence.
Put differently, judges in Mexico are not accustomed to making accurate distinctions between facts and law, which not only affects the kind of evidence considered in determining guilt or innocence but also damages efforts to preserve the record for appeal.
Our goal at AFAM is to help our clients secure urgent equitable remedies under civil law while, if at all possible, applying pressure using criminal proceedings.
We also help clients gain asset tracing orders to obtain recovery in cases where fraud has been established and the victim’s assets have been converted into other property.
Please read our frequently asked questions on civil fraud vs criminal fraud disputes. To reach a member of our criminal law team, send us an email to schedule a no-obligation consultation.
We’d be happy to discuss the use of criminal proceedings as part of your recovery plan of action.
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