Fraud Chief Back in the News
By Christopher M. Matthews | November 12, 2021 5:52 pm

The chief of the Justice Department’s Criminal Fraud Section was quoted in the press this week for the second time since he came to the DOJ in January.

“The courts are available to companies if they dispute the department’s interpretation of the [Foreign Corrupt Practices Act],” Fraud Section Chief Denis McInerney said in an interview with Bloomberg News published Friday.

McInerney’s first foray into the media world in his new job came in March, when he was profiled in the Washington Post in an article by Carrie Johnson (who has since moved to NPR).

When McInerney left his job at Davis Polk & Wardwell LLP in November, his appointment garnered a lot of attention, and some controversy.

Before hiring McInerney, Assistant Attorney General Lanny Breuer said he wanted to replace outgoing Fraud Section head Steven Tyrrell, now at Weil Gotshal, with a “rock star.” Some within the DOJ took the remark as a slight at career prosecutors who were not chosen for the job.

McInerney has shaken things up in his new gig, restructuring the rapidly expanding Fraud Section. He has provided the section with greater managerial resources by promoting lawyers within the section to supervisory roles and creating new positions. He has also brought in more than 20 new prosecutors to the health care fraud team and roughly 20 to the FCPA team.

But until recently, McInerney has maintained a relatively low profile. McInerney came out swinging during a speech in October, defending the section’s FCPA team and calling out its critics.

“In preparing for today I read through some of the recent articles about this increased FCPA enforcement… apparently not everyone is fan,” McInerney said during a speech at the American Bar Association’s National Institute on the FCPA.. “One article even appeared to suggest that the real reason prosecutors are engaging in this enforcement program is to secure lucrative employment after they leave the government.”

In Friday’s Bloomberg article, McInerney also underscored the importance of companies devoting resources to thorough internal investigations and said that the DOJ “has given a lot of guidance on the criteria it uses for evaluating a company.”

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  1. [...] McInerney,  the chief of DOJ’s Criminal Fraud Section, appeared to throw down the gauntlet to the FCPA bar in [...]

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About Christopher M. Matthews

Chris covers corruption and the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act.