Recent Amendments to Legislative Decree no. 231/2001 on Corporate Liability: Is Your Company Impacted?

New Crimes under Legislative Decree no. 231/2001. The list of crimes triggering corporate liability under Legislative Decree no. 231/2001 was recently expanded by Legislative Decree no. 184/2021, implementing Directive (EU) 2019/713 “on combating fraud and counterfeiting of non-cash means of payment and replacing Council Framework Decision 2001/413/JHA”. As a result, Section 25-octies.1 on “Crimes related to non-cash payment instruments” was introduced. Such crime arises in case of:

  • Unlawful use and forgery of non-cash payment instruments;
  • Possession and dissemination of equipment, devices or computer programs aimed at committing offences concerning non-cash payment instruments; and
  • Computer fraud, provided for by Article 24 of Legislative Decree No. 231/2001, for which an aggravating circumstance has been introduced in case the conduct results in the transfer of money, monetary value or virtual currency.

Sanctions for committing such crimes are monetary fines up to 800 quotas and the application of blacklisting sanctions.

Amendments to the Italian Criminal Code. Legislative Decree No. 195/2021, implementing Directive (EU) 2018/1673 “on combating money laundering by criminal law”, introduced several amendments to Sections 648, 648-bis, 648-ter and 648-ter.1 of the Italian Criminal Code, providing for the offences of receiving stolen goods, use of goods of unlawful origin, money laundering and self-laundering, all already included in the catalogue of predicate offences under Section 25-octies of the Legislative Decree No. 231/2001. More specifically, the above-mentioned Legislative Decree amended the provisions:

  • By extending the scope of the crime of receiving stolen goods also to contraventions and by providing for an aggravating circumstance in case the offence is committed in the exercise of a professional activity;
  • By extending the scope of the crimes of money laundering and self-laundering also to culpable offences and contraventions;
  • By extending the scope of the crime of use of goods of unlawful origin crime also to contraventions.

Further Proposed Legislative Amendments. Draft law No. 2427 provides for the inclusion of agri-food crimes the list of predicate offences under Legislative Decree No. 231/2001, with the aim of safeguarding public health, with a focus on the traceability of raw materials and products, hygiene violations, and combating fraud in trade, from agro-piracy to Italian sounding. However, the bill has been submitted to Parliament but has not been approved yet.

Any Impacts for Your Company? If your company has not yet adopted an organizational model pursuant to Legislative Decree no. 231/2001, then it will obviously need to consider all the above crimes, in addition to those previously existing. If, instead, your company has already adopted a 231 model, it will be necessary to check if it is at risk of committing such new offences. It would be advisable to carry out a new risk assessment aimed at ensuring that the model is duly updated.

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