Category Archives: FCPA

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SEC Awards $14 Million to Whistleblower

The SEC awarded more than $14 million to a whistleblower earlier this month in exchange for information that helped the SEC bring an enforcement action against the perpetrators of an investment fraud in less than six months after receipt of the whistleblower’s tip. [1] The award is the largest made by the SEC since the Office of … Continue Reading

Siemens Whistleblower Complaint Underscores Need for “Top-Down” Anti-Corruption Compliance

By Anthony N. Moshirnia  In 2008, Siemens AG paid $800 million to settle charges that it had violated the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act, which generally prohibits bribery of foreign officials for the purpose of obtaining or retaining business. That settlement amount remains the largest in the history of FCPA enforcement. In addition, the company agreed … Continue Reading

DOJ and SEC Release New FCPA Resource Guide

By Anthony Moshirnia On November 14, 2012, the SEC and the DOJ released their long-awaited Resource Guide to the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act, which can be found here. The Resource Guide consolidates and summarizes the government’s previously stated positions and case law regarding the FCPA and, unsurprisingly, confirms that FCPA enforcement will remain a priority … Continue Reading

FCPA and Anti-Corruption Enforcement Update: April – September 2012

By John Hynes We regularly report on Foreign Corrupt Practices Act ("FCPA") developments and have furnished subscribers with a primer on the FCPA. As expected, 2012 has proven to be yet another busy year for the government in enforcing the FCPA. This article highlights some of the most important recent developments in the anti-corruption and … Continue Reading

Meaning Of FCPA’s “Foreign Official” Causes Uncertainty For Companies Doing Business Abroad

By Alison Kleaver and Joseph Barton One of the goals of the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (“FCPA”) is to prevent U.S. companies and individuals from paying bribes to foreign officials in exchange for business. To this end, the FCPA prohibits any domestic individual or business entity from making payments to a “foreign official” for the … Continue Reading

Mandatory Debarment for FCPA Violations? A Bad Idea Whose Time Should Never Come

By Mike Emmick In the fervor of the U.S.’s current anti-foreign-corruption efforts, a particularly misguided proposal has occasionally reared its ugly head: Requiring “mandatory debarment” for any company that violates the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (“FCPA”). On the merits, such a proposal is completely wrong-headed. Debarment is a severe, forward-looking administrative remedy – the corporate … Continue Reading

Prosecutorial misconduct stymies Justice Department in FCPA trials

By Bethany Hengsbach In a stunning conclusion to the U.S. Department of Justice’s first guilty jury verdict against a corporation under the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA), the U.S. District Court, Central District of California granted the defendants’ request to vacate the conviction of Lindsey Manufacturing Co. and its executives, and dismiss the indictment due … Continue Reading

The 2011 Bribe Payers Index: Another Important FCPA Compliance Tool

By John M. Hynes On November 1, 2011, Transparency International (“TI”) released its 2011 Bribe Payers Index (“BPI”), which ranks the countries whose companies are most likely to engage in bribery when doing business abroad. The BPI can serve as an important tool for companies in their efforts to avoid violations of the United States Foreign … Continue Reading

Longest Prison Sentence Yet in FCPA Case

By Thaddeus McBride & Cheryl Palmeri On October 26, 2011, Joel Esquenazi was sentenced to 15 years in prison for committing and conspiring to commit both money laundering and violations of the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (“FCPA”). Esquenazi is the former president of Terra Telecommunications Corporation (“Terra”), an international telecommunications company. According to the U.S. … Continue Reading

DOJ Targets FCPA and Anti-Trust Violations Jointly

By Thaddeus McBride & Cheryl Palmeri  On October 5, 2011, the U.S. Department of Justice (“DOJ”) and Bridgestone Corporation (“Bridgestone”) filed a plea agreement in U.S. District Court in which Bridgestone admitted to violating the Sherman Antitrust Act (15 U.S.C. § 1) (“Sherman Act”) and the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (18 U.S.C. § 371) (“FCPA”). Under the … Continue Reading

Getting Specific About FCPA Compliance

On April 8, 2011, the U.S. Department of Justice announced that it had reached a settlement with Johnson & Johnson and its subsidiaries for Foreign Corrupt Practices Act violations. Compared to prior FCPA settlements, the DOJ elaborated much more specific compliance measures that it expected Johnson & Johnson to take as part of the settlement.  … Continue Reading

FCPA Compliance: Issues for Public and Private Companies

As the DOJ and SEC broaden their FCPA enforcement efforts to include target industries beyond the usual suspects – energy and defense – all businesses with overseas ties should take a hard look at their internal anti-corruption procedures.  The nearly $2 billion in FCPA fines and penalties imposed in 2010 alone teach at least one lesson: the costs … Continue Reading

Federal Judge Upholds DOJ’s Expansive Application Of FCPA

By Thaddeus McBride and Reid Whitten On April 20, 2011, in a prosecution brought against Lindsey Manufacturing Company (“Lindsey”) and several of its officers and employees, a U.S. Federal District Court Judge ruled that the term “instrumentalities” applies to foreign state-owned enterprises under the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (“FCPA”). Under this broad ruling, any employee or … Continue Reading

The Ministry of Justice Issues Long-Awaited Guidance On The U.K. Bribery Act

By Bethany Hengsbach On March 30, 2011, the United Kingdom (“U.K.”) Ministry of Justice (“MOJ”) issued its long-awaited guidance on the U.K. Bribery Act (the “Guidance”), the U.K.’s answer to the U.S. Foreign Corrupt Practices Act and domestic bribery laws.  The implementation of the U.K. Bribery Act (the “Act”) has been delayed twice, but now will … Continue Reading

China Beefs Up Its Anti-Bribery Law With Its Very Own Version Of The FCPA

By John M. Hynes Companies doing business in the People’s Republic of China (“PRC”) have yet another path to potential criminal liability. On February 25, 2011, the PRC legislature passed 49 amendments to the PRC Criminal Law. One such amendment – Amendment No. 8 of the PRC Criminal Law – criminalizes the payment of bribes to non-PRC … Continue Reading

2010 FCPA Year In Review

By Bethany Hengsbach and Anthony Moshirnia Through enforcement, administrative action, and new legislation, the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (“FCPA”) grew additional muscle and even sharper teeth in 2010.  The U.S. government assessed nearly $2 billion in FCPA-related penalties and fines in 2010, and announced eight of the top ten FCPA settlements of all time.  … Continue Reading

U.K.’s Sweeping Anti-Corruption Legislation Increases Risk For Businesses

By Bethany Hengsbach The United Kingdom’s answer to the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (“FCPA”) has arrived.  The UK Bribery Act 2010, which received Royal Assent on April 8, 2010, is both stricter and broader than the FCPA.  The U.K. Ministry of Justice announced on July 23, 2010 that the implementation of the Act will be … Continue Reading

Whistleblower Provision Likely To Increase FCPA Risk

By Bethany Hengsbach Primarily as a result of the recent dramatic increase in the U.S. government’s enforcement effort, the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (“FCPA”) has received a great deal of attention of late. The financial reform legislation signed by President Obama on July 21, 2010 adds an incentive that will likely further increase the dangers posed … Continue Reading

The Long Arm Of The Crown: New U.K. Anti-Bribery Law Reaches Private Sector Bribery And Creates Offence Of “Failing To Prevent” Bribery

By Neil Ray The U.K. Bribery Act 2010 (the “Act”) represents a fundamental reform of the U.K. anti-bribery regime and greatly expands the potential legal exposure of companies and individuals that do business, including practice of a trade or profession, in the U.K. For example, it criminalizes purely private bribery with no involvement of a government … Continue Reading

Proposed Whistleblower Provision Could Dramatically Increase FCPA Risk

By Bethany Hengsbach An often-overlooked provision in the financial reform legislation now before Congress would allow employee whistleblowers to receive a reward of up to 30% of the fines collected by the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (“SEC”) and the U.S. Department of Justice (“DOJ”) from corporations who violate the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (“FCPA”). We … Continue Reading

Sheppard Mullin to Host FCPA Seminar

The recent explosion in Foreign Corrupt Practices Act ("FCPA") enforcement has made headlines of late, with three articles in the Wall Street Journal alone during the week of April 12th. Numerous multi-million dollar settlements and indictments of individuals demonstrate that no company with any international presence is beyond the reach of the statute.  … Continue Reading
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