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Next Up – Telia As DOJ And SEC Announce Contemplated $483 Million Net FCPA Enforcement Action

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This recent post asked: what will September bring and noted that with history as a guide likely notable FCPA enforcement actions.

This 2015 post highlighted the burgeoning Uzbekistan telecommunication investigations involving Dutch telecom company VimpleCom, Swedish telecom company TeliaSonera, and Russia-based Mobile TeleSystems.

As highlighted here, in February 2016 VimpelCom resolved a net $397.5 million FCPA enforcement action and as highlighted below yesterday the DOJ and SEC announced a contemplated $483 million net FCPA enforcement against against Telia (after accounting for various credits and deductions for contemplated Swedish and Dutch enforcement actions) – the 5th largest net FCPA settlement of all-time.

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Is Much Of FCPA Enforcement Even Consistent With The Rule Of Law?

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Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein delivered another dandy speech earlier this week that any college or professional student should read for career advice. More broadly – similar to Rosenstein’s speech highlighted last week – he again spoke about the rule of law.

Specifically, Rosenstein correctly noted: “The term ‘rule of law’ refers to the principle that the United States is governed by law and not arbitrary decisions of government officials. Rule of law systems are characterized by consistency and predictability.”

Yet actions speak louder than words and this post encourages you to think whether much of FCPA enforcement is even consistent with the rule of law principles highlighted above.

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Sure, Non-Profits Have A Role To Play, But Being Informed, Impartial And Responsible Is Important Too

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This recent guest post on the FCPA Blog by the Executive Director of the U.K. Chapter of Transparency International stated that not-for-profits have an “important role” to play in “the crowded anti-bribery and compliance space.”

True, non-profits have an important role to play and previous posts (here and here among others) have noted the good work of certain non-profits in raising awareness of bribery and its effects and seeking to reduce bribery and corruption around the world.

However, along with this important role comes an implicit duty to be informed, impartial and responsible and this post highlights how certain non-profits in the bribery and corruption space seemingly fail these important metrics.

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As Is Fairly Typical, Uber’s FCPA Scrutiny Expands

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All instances of Foreign Corrupt Practices Act scrutiny have a “point of entry” – an occurrence which gives rise to initial FCPA scrutiny.

From there, FCPA scrutiny often expands into other business dealings, other countries, etc. This dynamic is a major reason why pre-enforcement action professionals fees and expenses are often the largest financial ramification of FCPA scrutiny, exceeding (often by multiples) settlement amounts in an actual FCPA enforcement action.

Approximately three weeks ago, it was reported (see here) that Uber Technologies was under FCPA scrutiny.

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An FCPA Enforcement Action Involving A U.S. Government Aid Program (With A Few Ironies)

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[This post is part of a periodic series regarding “old” FCPA enforcement actions]

Yesterday’s post highlighted a number of Foreign Corrupt Practices Act enforcement actions in connection with U.S. government aid or assistance programs.

This post goes into more detail regarding the DOJ’s 2002 FCPA enforcement action against Richard Pitchford (the Vice President and Country Manager in Turkmenistan for the Central Asia American Enterprise Fund (CAAEF), an entity wholly funded by a $150 million appropriation from Congress pursuant to the Support for Eastern European Democracy Act of 1989 and the Freedom for Russia and Emerging Eurasian Democracies and Open Market Support Act of 1992).

One of the ironies with this enforcement action (there is another highlighted at the end of the post) is that prior to the enforcement action Pitchford was quoted as saying: “The potential in Central Asia is tremendous, especially in Turkmenistan because of its proximity to Turkey and the Persian Gulf. What’s missing is government political will to do the job. There’s no doubt this is a dictatorship and from top to bottom, it’s corrupt.” A short time later, Pitchford himself would be prosecuted for corruption.

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