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FCPA Flash – A Conversation With Jason Prince

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The FCPA Flash podcast provides in an audio format the same fresh, candid, and informed commentary about the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act and related topics as readers have come to expect from written posts on FCPA Professor.

This FCPA Flash episode is a conversation with Jason Prince (Holland & Hart who offices in Boise and Washington, D.C.). During the podcast, Prince discusses: (i) FCPA issues for companies in the Rocky Mountain West; (ii) the similarities and differences between FCPA compliance and compliance with other export or international trade regulations; and (iii) how former Idaho Senator Frank Church (who was instrumental in crafting the FCPA) might think about the modern era of FCPA enforcement.

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The Many Issues To Consider From The Dun & Bradstreet Enforcement Action

Issues

Some people simply read FCPA enforcement actions, accept the enforcement theories advanced, record the enforcement statistics, and go about their day.

Not here at FCPA Professor. Just because the FCPA is a fundamentally sound statute, does not mean that FCPA enforcement is necessarily fundamentally sound.

Prior posts here and here went in-depth into the SEC’s $9.2 million Foreign Corrupt Practices Act enforcement action against Dun & Bradstreet based on the conduct of two indirect Chinese subsidiaries from 6 – 12 years ago.

This post continues the analysis by highlighting the many troubling or notable issues to consider from the enforcement action.

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What Viable Criminal Charges Against D&B Did The DOJ Actually “Decline”?

shrug

This prior post highlighted the SEC’s $9.2 million Foreign Corrupt Practices Act enforcement action against Dun & Bradstreet based on the conduct of two indirect Chinese subsidiaries from 6 to 12 years ago.

In connection with the SEC’s enforcement action, the DOJ quietly released this letter stating that it has “declined prosecution consistent with the FCPA Corporate Enforcement Policy.”

However, the question is posed: based on information in the public domain what viable criminal charges against D&B did the DOJ actually “decline”? The answer, as discussed in this post, appears to be none.

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Dunn & Bradstreet Resolves $9.2 Million Enforcement Action Based On Conduct Of Two Indirect Chinese Subsidiaries From 6-12 Years Ago

D&B

As highlighted in this prior post, over six years ago Dun & Bradstreet (a leading source of commercial information and insight on businesses) announced that it was under Foreign Corrupt Practices Act scrutiny concerning conduct in China.

Yesterday, the SEC (Snails-Pace Enforcement Commission) announced that D&B agreed to resolve an FCPA enforcement action by paying approximately $9.2 million to “arising from improper payments made by two Chinese subsidiaries.”

This administrative order states, in summary fashion:

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FCPA “Fake News” And False Information Is Rampant

kidding me

I didn’t invent fact-checking, but I occasionally apply it to the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act context.

The reason I do so is for the same reasons others fact-check: to counter false and misleading information in the public domain and to hopefully motivate a greater sense of responsibility and discipline upon those voluntarily publishing FCPA content.

Call me old-fashioned, but if you are presenting yourself as an expert on the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act and/or a paid journalist, or merely using the words “Foreign Corrupt Practices Act” in voluntarily published material you simply have an obligation to engage in basic research on FCPA topics before hitting the publish button and if you are incapable or unwilling to do this, well don’t hit the publish button.

The post contains several recent examples of FCPA “fake news” and false information.

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