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Checking In On Wal-Mart’s Pre-Enforcement Action Professional Fees And Compliance Enhancements


In its recent 1Q FY2018 earnings call presentation Wal-Mart disclosed $16 million in Foreign Corrupt Practices Act and compliance related expenses ($13 million for ongoing investigations and inquiries and $3 million for global compliance program and organizational enhancements). The Q1 expenses of $16 million compare to the following quarterly expenses in FY2017 (Q4 $17 million, Q3 $29 million, Q2 $ 28 million, Q1 $25 million).

Doing the math, Wal-Mart’s 1Q FY2018 FCPA and compliance-related costs is approximately $260,000 per working day.

Over the past 5 years, I have tracked Wal-Mart’s quarterly disclosed pre-enforcement action professional fees and expenses. While some pundits ridiculed me for doing so, it quickly caught on as the popular thing to do.

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Friday Roundup


Quotable, no reliable way to measure, Microsoft explains, scrutiny alert, a direct selling license in China, and offensive use of the FCPA. It’s all here in the Friday roundup.


Some think – or at least I’ve been told – that certain of my Foreign Corrupt Practices Act views are controversial or out of the “main stream” (whatever the “main stream” actually is or means). Yet, I am confident that much of what I write and talk about represents silent majority views.

Indeed, as I’ve commented before, one of the interesting things about writing about the FCPA and related issues on a daily basis is that often I just need to wait for a former FCPA enforcement official to say the same thing. 

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DOJ Compliance Counsel Hui Chen’s Recent Social Media Activity


Hui Chen is the DOJ’s Compliance Counsel and has recently become active on social media.

This recent FCPA Professor post highlighted how Ms. Chen recently called out “the lack of precision and intellectual rigor” in much compliance writing and commentary and she has since encouraged others on social media to use the #precisionmatters hastage to “hold each other accountable and tag where more precisions are needed!”

This is just one aspect of Ms. Chen’s recent social media activity.

This post highlights another aspect of Ms. Chen’s recent social media activity by including “snips” of her publicly-available social media posts. (For additional coverage, see here).

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Bio-Rad Internal Investigation Documents Highlight The Lack Of Transparency In FCPA Enforcement


The DOJ and SEC frequently speak about the importance of transparency in Foreign Corrupt Practices Act enforcement – as well they should because transparency is a fundamental tenet of the rule of law.

Those in the know however have long recognized that FCPA enforcement is seldom transparent. However, assessing this is nearly impossible in most instances because FCPA internal investigation documents are seldom in the public domain.

Yet, as highlighted in this post, certain Bio-Rad FCPA internal investigation documents were recently publicly disclosed as exhibits in an FCPA-related whistleblower action and the documents call into question the transparency of the FCPA enforcement action against the company.

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Might Sinovac Become The First Chinese Issuer To Resolve An FCPA Enforcement Action?


A long, long time ago (September 2009 to be exact) FCPA Professor highlighted how Chinese companies were increasingly seeking to raise capital in the U.S. and by registering securities in the U.S. becoming subject to a variety of U.S. laws including the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act.

There has never been an FCPA enforcement against a Chinese-based issuer, but that could change.

This post highlights the FCPA scrutiny of Beijing-based Sinovac Biotech, a company with shares traded on NASDAQ, including its recent disclosure that it is unable to file its annual report because of a bribery internal investigation.

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