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Category Archives: FCPA

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Texas Supreme Court Applies Absolute Privilege to Statements in FCPA Investigations

Posted in FCPA, Investigations

You may remember the 2013 Texas Court of Appeals case involving Shell Oil Company and Robert Writt.  We covered it here, and it left FCPA internal investigations based in Texas in an awkward spot.  To recap very briefly, in 2007 the Justice Department asked Shell to conduct an investigation into potential FCPA violations, and the… Continue Reading

The FCPA on Prezi

Posted in FCPA

I spoke at the UNC Festival of Legal Learning last week about recent developments in the law surrounding the FCPA.  It’s always a little tricky speaking to novices in any area, because you have to lay a lot of groundwork for the recent developments to make sense.  Anyway, PowerPoint has become tiresome to me, and… Continue Reading

DOJ’s Marshall Miller: You’re All FCPA Lawyers Now

Posted in Compliance, FCPA

Marshall Miller, the Justice Department’s  principal Deputy Assistant Attorney General for the Criminal Division, has been heating up the compliance conference circuit in recent weeks.  On September 17th, it was the Global Investigation Review Program in New York.  On October 7th, he stopped by the Advanced Compliance and Ethics Workshop to discuss corporate compliance programs:… Continue Reading

Securities Enforcement Forum 2014 — FCPA, SEC/DOJ Joint Actions, and Other Recent Criminalization Trends

Posted in FCPA

Today I’m blogging from Securities Enforcement Forum 2014, Bruce Carton’s excellent one-day conference, this year being held at the Four Seasons hotel in Washington, D.C.  The posts will be fairly raw, and certainly not verbatim accounts of what is being said. This post covers the FCPA panel. Chuck Duross at MoFo is the moderator. Kara… Continue Reading

Two Points about the SEC’s $30+ Million Whistleblower Award

Posted in FCPA, Whistleblowers

You probably saw that on Monday the SEC announced its largest-ever award under the Dodd-Frank whistleblower provisions: over $30 million to an unnamed tipster from overseas.  As with all of the awards issued so far, the Commission is maintaining the whistleblower’s confidentiality and saying very little about the case the tip generated.  The big payday… Continue Reading

One More Thing about Liu v. Siemens, the Foreign Whistleblower Case

Posted in FCPA, Whistleblowers

Last week I wrote about the Second Circuit’s recent decision in Liu v. Siemens AG, in which the court held that the Dodd-Frank Act’s anti-retaliation provisions do not apply to whistleblowers overseas.  As I think about it, one more aspect of that opinion is probably worth mentioning. One of the arguments the whistleblower’s lawyers made… Continue Reading

Freedom to Retaliate against Foreign Whistleblowers May Not Be as Much Fun as It First Appears

Posted in Compliance, FCPA, Whistleblowers

What I’m about to say is grossly oversimplified, but here goes: The Dodd-Frank Act’s whistleblower provisions have two primary prongs.  The first says that an individual who voluntarily provides the SEC with original information resulting in an enforcement action in which the SEC collects over $1 million in sanctions will be eligible for a financial… Continue Reading

Foreign Pink Sheets Companies and the FCPA

Posted in FCPA, Microcap Fraud

Penny stock companies have been much in the news recently.  They can be tough entities for law enforcement to look into given that their officers and directors are often not inclined to cooperate with government investigations.  They can also be full of criminal activity.  At the same time, Foreign Corrupt Practices Act enforcement is often… Continue Reading

Commercial Bribery on the Table in Diebold FCPA Actions

Posted in FCPA, Non-scienter-based Violations

Last week the SEC and Justice Department brought parallel FCPA enforcement actions charging Ohio-based Diebold, Inc., a global provider of ATMs and bank security systems. From the SEC’s press release: “[S]ubsidiaries of Diebold Inc. in China and Indonesia spent approximately $1.8 million on travel, entertainment, and other improper gifts for senior officials with the ability… Continue Reading

Ralph Lauren Escapes FCPA Problems with Minimized Damage

Posted in FCPA

Often, enforcement officials at the SEC and the Justice Department express their wish that securities law violators own up to their (mis)conduct as soon it comes to light.  That is, come to the government and explain what has happened.  Almost as often, though, those officials have a difficult time describing the tangible benefits of doing… Continue Reading

SEC Charges Allianz with FCPA Violations

Posted in FCPA, Non-scienter-based Violations, Whistleblowers

On December 17th, the SEC brought a settled administrative FCPA action against Allianz SE, a German insurance company with a subsidiary in Indonesia.  The order does not allege violations of the FCPA’s antibribery provisions, but does claim violations of its books-and-records and internal controls provisions. As the summary in the SEC’s order says, the proceedings… Continue Reading

FCPA Declination Opinions? SEC and DOJ Sort of Have Them

Posted in FCPA

The Justice Department and the SEC released long-awaited joint guidance on enforcement and compliance with the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act yesterday.  Many have pointed out that the guidance does not cover much new ground but does compile a good deal of information that was previously scattered among different sources. One of the things the guidance… Continue Reading

Stories Worth Reading This Morning

Posted in Broker-Dealers, FCPA, FINRA

Among the stories you should consider reading today: FINRA’s Susan Axelrod announced at a PLI panel on Wednesday that FINRA is reviewing conflicts of interest at 14 broker-dealers.  The review seems to be geared toward being sure that registered representatives keep their focus on suitability of the products sold to their customers. This article suggests… Continue Reading

Back from the Securities Enforcement Forum 2012

Posted in FCPA, SEC Litigation

Yesterday I attended the Securities Enforcement Forum 2012 at the Mayflower Hotel in D.C.  Bruce Carton organized an excellent day of panels devoted to a number of securities enforcement topics.  Here is the full agenda from the day.  Several things jumped out at me as noteworthy. More Use of Section 21(a) Reports The Hon. Stanley… Continue Reading

Even Domestic Bribery Falls within the SEC’s Jurisdiction

Posted in Accounting Fraud, FCPA

Much ink has been spilled in recent years discussing the SEC’s and Justice Department’s focus on the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act, a law that prohibits paying bribes to foreign government officials.  While the federal criminal code has provisions prohibiting bribery of domestic public officials, see 18 U.S.C. § 201, domestic bribery has rarely been a… Continue Reading

SEC and DOJ Issue First FCPA Declination Opinions

Posted in FCPA

Some in the FCPA commentariat have long said that the Justice Department and SEC should publicly issue declination opinions when the agencies decide not to pursue a matter.  We already see the factual scenarios that lead those agencies to file charges, in the form of the complaints and indictments themselves.  Many have argued that declination… Continue Reading

Siemens Executives Face Parallel FCPA Proceedings

Posted in FCPA, Parallel Proceedings, SEC Litigation

So the SEC and the Justice Department brought a big FCPA case involving Siemens AG on Tuesday.  The agencies charged a total of nine former senior executives and agents of the company with a decade-long scheme to bribe Argentinian government officials to secure and implement a $1 billion contract to produce national identity cards.  The… Continue Reading