Matteson Ellis

Matteson Ellis serves as Special Counsel to the FCPA and International Anti-Corruption practice group of Miller & Chevalier in Washington, DC.  He is also founder and principal of Matteson Ellis Law PLLC, a law firm focusing on FCPA compliance and enforcement. He has extensive experience in a broad range of international anti-corruption areas. Previously, he worked with the anti-corruption and anti-fraud investigations and sanctions proceedings unit at The World Bank.

Mr. Ellis has helped build compliance programs associated with some of the largest FCPA settlements to date; performed internal investigations in more than 20 countries throughout the Americas, Asia, Europe and Africa considered “high corruption risk” by international monitoring organizations; investigated fraud and corruption and supported administrative sanctions and debarment proceedings for The World Bank and The Inter-American Development Bank; and is fluent in Spanish and Portuguese.

Mr. Ellis focuses particularly on the Americas, having spent several years in the region working for a Fortune 50 multinational corporation and a government ethics watchdog group. He regularly speaks on corruption matters throughout the region and is editor of the FCPAméricas Blog.

He has worked with every facet of FCPA enforcement and compliance, including legal analysis, internal investigations, third party due diligence, transactional due diligence, anti-corruption policy drafting, compliance training, compliance audits, corruption risk assessments, voluntary disclosures to the U.S. government and resolutions with the U.S. government. He has conducted anti-corruption enforcement and compliance work in the following sectors: agriculture, construction, defense, energy/oil and gas, engineering, financial services, medical devices, mining, pharmaceuticals, gaming, roads/infrastructure and technology.

Mr. Ellis received his law degree, cum laude, from Georgetown University Law Center, his masters in foreign affairs from Georgetown’s School of Foreign Service, and his B.A. from Dartmouth College. He co-founded and serves as chairman of the board of The School for Ethics and Global Leadership in Washington, D.C. He is a member of the District of Columbia, Texas, New York, and New Jersey bar associations.

Mr. Ellis is also author of The FCPA in Latin America: Common Corruption Risks and Effective Compliance Strategies for the Region.

the biggest issues compliance staff must overcome in FCPA investigations

Latin America is experiencing a significant rise in the number of internal investigations at large corporations, an increase that is likely due in part to the DOJ’s Pilot Program, which focuses on holding individuals accountable for wrongdoing. Here are some of the key issues these companies face as they conduct internal investigations in the region.

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Risk of FCPA violations abound in doing business with Pemex

Organizations doing business with Pemex have long faced FCPA risks, as the company is controlled by the Mexican government and thus considered an “instrumentality” thereof. As a result of recent energy reforms, however, Pemex is now one of many actors in the oil and gas industry, and other companies operating in Mexico may face new risks in their interactions with Pemex.

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New Corruption Risk Data for Mexico

Mexico is in the process of implementing a National Anti-Corruption System, and the world is watching. Prominent players PwC and FTI Consulting have recently released data on corruption risk in Mexico, and the long and short of it is this: with increased risk across the board, a lot is riding on the success of the country’s anti-corruption legislation.

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Each year, FCPAmericas reports on trends and priorities in FCPA enforcement, according to the DOJ and SEC. The DOJ is beefing up its FCPA Unit, and the SEC is reporting quite a few FCPA cases nearing the finish line, with just as many more pending investigation. Companies, be warned: there is as much focus as ever on global compliance. Read on to...

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Latin America’s Most Common Reaction to the FCPA

It seems unjust to some to be on the receiving end of American investigation or prosecution of bribery when the U.S. has its own issues with bribery. As a U.S. citizen enforcing American regulations on foreign soil, Matt Ellis has encountered this argument many times, and he's found several ways to respond to the complaint so as to legitimize FCPA compliance efforts...

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Corruption Scandals in…Chile?

Chile has historically ranked among the least corrupt countries in Transparency International's Corruption Perceptions Index, but past performance isn't always a great indicator of future results. Recent scandals in the country serve as an excellent reminder that corruption can rear its ugly head anywhere, even in areas not typically associated with bribery and improper conduct.

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Latin America’s Compliance “Circle of Trust”

An effective compliance program is predicated on trust; without employees' trust in their compliance officer, the compliance function is unlikely to be regarded seriously. This is especially true in Latin America, where building strong relationships and engaging staff face to face is of utmost importance. No "tick box" compliance programs welcome here.

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