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Friday Roundup

Roundup

Guilty plea, scrutiny alerts, absurd and remarkable, and Caldwell to private practice. It’s all here in the Friday roundup.

Guilty Plea

As highlighted in this January post, the DOJ announced Foreign Corrupt Practices Act, and related charges, against four individuals for their roles in a scheme to pay $2.5 million in bribes to facilitate the $800 million sale of a commercial building in Vietnam to a Middle Eastern sovereign wealth fund.

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Development From The “Other Universe” – In Dismissing FCPA-Related Civil Claims, Judge Rejects The Notion That The FCPA “Establishes A Statutory Floor For Adequate Internal Controls”

parallel universe

Foreign Corrupt Practices Act issues often co-exist in two parallel universes.

One universe is ruled by perceived all-powerful gods with big and sharp sticks in which subjects dare challenge the gods. Another universe consists of checks and balances in which independent actors call the balls and strikes.

The first universe refers to FCPA enforcement by the DOJ and SEC. The second universe refers to litigation of FCPA-related claims in which judges make decisions in the context of an adversarial legal system. This second universe is often referred to as the rule of law universe.

There are several examples of theories used in the first universe that do not work in the second universe.

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The Political Contributions Of Various FCPA Commentators

Political fund raising / contributions. A skimmer hat full of bundles of $100 bills and a hat on a money bag on a white background

FCPA commentators often write about the importance of transparency.

The question arises, when FCPA commentators write about topics political in nature including statements about specific political actors, should the commentator disclose their political contributions so that readers can better assess the credibility and objectivity of what the commentator is saying?

This post highlights the publicly available political contributions of various FCPA commentators.

For the record, I’ve never made a political contribution in my life.

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Issues To Consider From The Linde Enforcement Action

Issues

This previous post highlighted the DOJ’s recent $11.2 million declination with disgorgement and forfeiture against Linde for nearly decade-old conduct of an acquired entity.

This post continues the analysis by highlighting additional issues to consider.

Voluntary Disclosure

Nearly all decisions to voluntary disclose should be questioned (see this article for the reasons why), but Linde’s decision to voluntarily disclose should seriously be questioned.

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The First Corporate FCPA Enforcement Action In The Trump Era Is A $11.2 Million Declination With Disgorgement And Forfeiture Against Linde For Nearly Decade-Old Conduct Of An Acquired Entity

Linde

Last Friday the DOJ quietly updated its FCPA Pilot Program “declinations” page to include a June 16th letter from the Fraud Section and the U.S. Attorney’s Office (D.N.J.) to counsel for Linde North America Inc. and Linde Gas North America LLC.

The letter states that “consistent with the FCPA Pilot Program announced on April 5, 2016, the [DOJ is closing its] investigation of [Linde] and certain of their subsidiaries and affiliates concerning violations of the FCPA.”

Pursuant to the letter agreement, Linde agreed to disgorge or forfeit approximately $11.2 million. The Linde enforcement action is the first corporate FCPA enforcement action in the Trump era and is similar to the previous “declinations with disgorgement” enforcement actions released by the Obama DOJ in September 2016. (See here for a prior post).

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