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Acting Assistant AG Blanco On Foreign Law Enforcement Cooperation

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Acting Assistant Attorney General Kenneth Blanco recently delivered this speech which focused largely on foreign law enforcement cooperation in bribery investigations. The bulk of the speech concerned U.S. – Brazil cooperation with portions also dedicated to the DOJ’s Kleptocracy Asset Recovery Initiative.

In his speech, Blanco used much of the same rhetoric as prior DOJ officials have in talking about bribery and corruption and once again the notion that the U.S. will “push[] forward hard against corruption, wherever it is” is subject to interpretation.

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The Randomness Of FCPA Sentences

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Under the advisory U.S. Sentencing Guidelines, there are a number of factors (such as the defendant’s criminal history, value of the improper payment, and acceptance of responsibility) that can impact an individual sentence for Foreign Corrupt Practices Act offenses.

Yet, it appears that the single greatest factor influencing FCPA sentences is the judge assigned to the case. As highlighted by the below recent representative examples, there is a randomness to FCPA sentences. This is unfortunate, as individual sentences for FCPA offenses ought to be consistent. Indeed, consistency in application of the law is one of the fundamental hallmarks of the rule of law.

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FCPA Professor Turns 8

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Eight years ago, I launched FCPA Professor with this simple mission statement.

“After a decade-long private practice legal career focused on the FCPA, I am pleased to launch FCPA Professor in connection with my new academic career. To be sure, there are other websites and blogs which cover FCPA topics. However, FCPA Professor seeks to inject a much-needed scholarly voice into FCPA issues. Thus, in addition to covering the “who, what, and where” of FCPA enforcement actions, news, and legislative initiatives, this blog will also explore the more analytical “why” questions increasingly present in this current era of aggressive FCPA enforcement. The goal of this blog is thus to foster a forum for critical analysis and discussion of the FCPA (and related topics) among FCPA practitioners, business and compliance professionals, scholars and students, and other interested persons.”

Eight years and 2,120 posts later, FCPA Professor is still here and the mission remains the same.

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With Chi Guilty Verdict, Focus Shifts To Kinemetrics And Guralp Systems

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The DOJ recently announced that Heon-Cheol Chi (Chi) of South Korea, “the Director of South Korea’s Earthquake Research Center at the Korea Institute of Geoscience and Mineral Resources (KIGAM) was convicted … following a four-day jury trial of laundering bribes that he received from two seismological companies based in California and England through the U.S. banking system.”

As noted here, according to court documents the companies are Kinemetrics (a California company that designs technologies, products, and solutions for monitoring earthquakes and their effects on people and structures) and Guralp Systems Ltd. (a U.K. company that designs, manufactures and delivers products, services, systems and solutions for a wide range of applications for the seismological research community as well as the the oil & gas, civil engineering and energy sectors.)

With the Chi guilty verdict, focus shifts to Kinemetrics and Guralp Systems and when asked if there would be an FCPA enforcement action against these companies a DOJ spokesperson informed me via e-mail that “the investigation is ongoing.”

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FCPA Flash – A Conversation With Milos Barutciski Regarding Canada’s Corruption Of Foreign Public Official’s Act

FCPA Flash

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 podcast is a conversation with Milos Barutciski (Bennett Jones – Toronto) regarding Canada’s FCPA-like law, the Corruption of Foreign Public Officials’ Act. (CFPOA). During the podcast, Barutciski discusses: some of the differences between the CFPOA and the FCPA; how enforcement of the CFPOA is different than enforcement of the FCPA; and whether Canadian companies subject to the FCPA are more concerned with CFPOA enforcement or FCPA enforcement.

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