22/07/2020 - D.LGS. 231/2001 IS APPLICABLE TO FOREIGN COMPANIES WITHOUT OFFICES IN ITALY

The Italian Criminal Court of Cassazione with sentence no. 11626/2020 recently ruled that Legislative Decree 231/2001 also applies to foreign companies that do not have offices in Italy, but which commit a crime in Italy under Italian law.

The case involved some allegations of corruption in a judicial proceeding in Italy. The coadjutor of bankruptcy proceedings had received sums of money from persons acting on behalf of companies under foreign law in order to favour the latter in the acquisition of assets of the bankrupt company in Italy. For this reason, the foreign companies were indicted for the crimes provided for in Legislative Decree 231/2001.

The Court affirmed the principle that an entity is subject to Italian criminal law regardless of nationality and place of registered office and regardless of the presence of rules governing the same matter in a similar manner.

For these reasons a legal entity, although not having its registered office in Italy may be held liable for the offense provided for by Legislative Decree 231/2001.

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