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This Week On FCPA Professor


FCPA Professor has been described as “the Wall Street Journal concerning all things FCPA-related,” and “the most authoritative source for those seeking to understand and apply the FCPA.”

Set forth below are the topics discussed this week on FCPA Professor.

The DOJ has long wanted companies to voluntarily disclose conduct that implicates the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act. Why then does the DOJ continually make decisions that should result in any board member, audit committee member, or general counsel informed of current event not making the decision to voluntarily disclose? As highlighted in this post, in the recent Societe Generale enforcement action, the DOJ once again shot itself in the foot.

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Checking In On The Siemens Monitor Case – Court Rules That The DOJ’s Withholding Of Certain Relevant Documents Is Overbroad And That Other Claimed FOIA Exemptions Are Inapplicable

Judicial Decision

Previous posts herehere, here, and here have highlighted the DOJ’s efforts (along with Siemens and its monitor) to block public release of the Monitor reports provided to the DOJ in connection with resolution of the still record-setting 2008 Siemens FCPA enforcement action.

From the beginning, I’ve had my own suspicion as to why the DOJ (and other parties) are actively seeking to block release of the Monitor reports and it has nothing to do with the issues discussed in the DOJ’s (and other parties) briefs.

In any event, in this recent 60 page opinion, Judge Rudolph Contreras (D.D.C.) ruled that the DOJ’s withholding of certain relevant documents is overbroad and that other claimed Freedom of Information Act exemptions are inapplicable.

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What’s Up With The Credit Suisse “Enforcement Action”?

question marks2

If a tree falls in a forest and no one is around to hear it, does it make a sound?

The FCPA version of this is: if a company announces an FCPA enforcement action, yet the DOJ/SEC are silent about it, and no document relevant to the enforcement action is in the public domain, has there been an enforcement action?

Perhaps one day the Credit Suisse enforcement action will be formally announced and resolution documents publicly released, but in the meantime, as highlighted below, there is a mystery as to what is going on.

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FCPA Challenge

FCPA Challenge

How much do you know about the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act? Let’s find out.

To commemorate the FCPA’s 40th year, FCPA Professor is presenting the FCPA Challenge.

Each Thursday during 2018, a question will be posed and the answer will be below the fold.

This week’s question is: in 2016, this company became the first Canadian company to resolve an FCPA enforcement action?

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The Government Bears Some Responsibility For Certain FCPA Enforcement Actions


Many Foreign Corrupt Practices Act enforcement actions do not occur in a vacuum. In certain instances, the road to FCPA violations is laid years, in some cases decades, earlier by government policy encouraging certain companies to do business in certain countries to accomplish certain political objectives.

An analogy would be a parent telling a child to go play in the playground frequented by”bad” kids and then, after a few weeks, the child swearing and telling dirty jokes around the house. In other words, don’t be surprised by the end result, the parent sent the child to the playground in the first place.

In light of the recent FCPA enforcement actions concerning business conduct in Libya (see here and here) in which the U.S. government explicitly encouraged companies to do business in the country upon the lifting of sanctions in 2004, it is worth pausing to consider whether the government bears some responsibility for certain FCPA violations.

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