Italy: the action of the “Guardia di Finanza” related to law 231/01 on administrative liability (April 15th, 2015)

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Introduction (not present in the original version)

Legislative decree no. 231 of June 8th 2001

The legislative decree no. 231 of June 8th 2001 - “Provisions on the administrative liability of legal persons, companies and associations, including those without legal personality”, introduced into the Italian legal order an administrative liability regime applying to Entities for a series of specified offences committed in the interest or to the advantage of the entity.
The entity (companies, banks, insurance companies, small businesses, associations, etc.) must adopt appropriate measures to prevent its staff from committing such offenses because it cannot be held liable if it has adopted and effectively implemented organisational, management and control models designed to prevent crimes comprised in law 231/01 and has established a specific Body responsible for monitoring the functioning of the models and the compliance with them.

Guardia di Finanza

The “Guardia di Finanza” (GdF) is an Italian police force under the authority of the Minister of Economy and Finance. The GdF is responsible for dealing with financial crime, smuggling and the drugs trade.

Corporate malfeasance laidbare

On  April 8th 2015, the Guardia di Finanza released its “2014 Report” which also includes a section dedicated to the procedures required by Legislative Decree 231/01.
This legislation provides for the punishment of the companies for several kinds of crimes committed by directors, officers or employees.
The law gives companies the opportunity to escape these charges, providing proper organizational models of control and risk management.
But the 231 models, as is clear from the checks, are in many cases fictitious, or prepared “on paper” but lacking a real capacity for monitoring and prevention.
In this context, in the course of the 219 procedures performed in 2014, the GdF reported 555 subjects to the prosecuting authorities and made seizures for 62 million euros.

Annexes

See also