Top Menu

A U.K. Friday Roundup

With all the focus on the Senate’s FCPA hearing earlier this week, let’s take a break and go across the pond for the Friday roundup.

Debarment and the Bribery Act, BAE’s upcoming sentencing hearing, and Royal interest in the SFO’s BAE investigation, its all here.

Debarment and the U.K. Bribery Act

Pass a new Bribery Act that creates a new offense for corporate bribery and it is bound to intersect with other laws.

So the U.K. Ministry of Justice is learning, specifically as to the European Union’s debarment directive which provides that companies found guilty of bribery offenses shall be debarred from public contracts.

According to this article in the U.K. Telegraph, the Ministry of Justice is “considering how the regulations implementing the 2004 EU Procurement Directives should be amended to reflect the new Bribery Act and we intend to clarify this point before commencement of the Act” – scheduled for April 2011.

European Union Directive 2004/18/EC (here) was a specific factor the DOJ considered in its resolutions of the Siemens, BAE, and Daimler enforcement actions.

See here for the DOJ’s sentencing memo in Siemens (p. 11), here for the DOJ’s sentencing memo in BAE (p. 15), and here for the DOJ’s sentencing memo in Daimler (p. 12).

If the DOJ would have prosecuted these companies with the charge best fitting the facts (an FCPA anti-bribery violation) the companies would have been at risk of being debarred from certain EU public contracts – not to mention U.S. government contracts pursuant to 48 CFR 9.406.

BAE Hearing Scheduled

BAE’s sentencing hearing in connection with the U.K. portion of the case is scheduled for Dec. 20th in London (see here for more). The U.S. portion of the case concluded in March (see here).

The last time a U.K. Serious Fraud Office (“SFO”) plea agreement in a bribery case was before a court (in the Innospec matter), the SFO received several lashings (see here).

Prince Andrew’s Keen Interest in the BAE Case

The U.K. Guardian (here) reports that Prince Andrew, the Duke of York, took a keen interest in the SFO’s investigation of the BAE matter, specifically the al-Yamana deal with Saudi Arabia. According to the Guardian, Prince Andrew demanded a special meeting with the SFO, the SFO thought the request was out of order, but SFO Director Richard Alderman was ultimately summoned to Buckingham Palace in May 2008 for a meeting. The Guardian quotes the SFO as saying that “no confidential details” were discussed during the meeting.

***

A good weekend to all.

Cheney Reportedly To Be Charged By Nigerian Authorities In Connection With Bonny Island

During Tuesday’s Senate subcommittee FCPA hearing, Senator Christopher Coons noted, in connection with other nations ramping up enforcement of their own bribery laws, that “today we are the only nation that is extending extraterritorial reach and going after the citizens of other countries, we may some day find ourselves on the receiving end of such transnational actions.”

Prescient statement.

Bloomberg is reporting (here) that Nigeria’s Economic and Financial Crimes Commission will soon files charges against former Vice President Dick Cheney and officials from five foreign companies, including Halliburton Co., in connection with the Bonny Island bribery scheme.

Bloomberg reports that indictments will be filed in a Nigeria court and that an arrest warrant for Cheney “will be issued and transmitted through Interpol” for enforcement. As noted by Bloomberg, Cheney was CEO of Halliburton from 1995 until 2000.

In February 2009, Halliburton, Kellogg Brown & Root LLC, and KBR Inc. agreed to pay $579 million in combined DOJ/SEC FCPA enforcement action to resolve charges related to Bonny Island. According to the DOJ, the improper conduct took place between 1994 and 2004. The case remains the largest ever FCPA enforcement action against a U.S. company.

See here for the DOJ resolution and here for the SEC resolution.

The DOJ’s press release (here) states that the “successful prosecution of KBR […] demonstrates that no one is above the law” and that the FBI “will continue to investigate these matters by working in partnership with other law enforcement agencies, both foreign and domestic, to ensure that corporate executives who have been found guilty of bribing foreign officials in return for lucrative business contracts, are punished to the full extent of the law.”

Over the summer, Technip and Snamprogetti/Eni, joint venture partners with KBR, also agreed to settle FCPA enforcement actions in connection with Bonny Island.

Technip agreed to pay $338 million in a joint DOJ / SEC enforcement action (see here and here).

Snamprogetti/ENI agreed to pay $365 million in a joint DOJ / SEC enforcement action (see here and here).

The fourth joint venture partner, JGC of Japan, has yet to resolve its exposure although it has been reported that it is settlement discussions with the DOJ.

For a complete run-down of “Bonny Island Bribery Club Statistics” see here.

The only individual charged thus far has been Albert Jack Stanley (see here). Stanley pleaded guilty and was originally scheduled to be sentenced in May 2009, but has not yet been sentenced.

Two joint venture agents, Jeffrey Tesler and Wojciech Chodan (both U.K. citizens) have also been charged (see here). Tesler and Chodan have been fighting extradition.

Yesterday, the U.K. Guardian (here) reported that Chodan, who had given up his extradition battle, is to arrive in the U.S. in the next 10 days to stand trial. The Guardian reports that Tesler will seek to overturn his extradition today.

Examining Enforcement of the FCPA

It was a honor to participate in yesterday’s hearing “Examining Enforcement of the FCPA” before the Senate Subcommittee on Crime and Drugs chaired by Senator Specter.

See here for C-SPAN coverage of the hearing.

See here for the prepared statement of Greg Andres (DOJ).

See here for my prepared statement.

See here for Andrew Weissmann’s prepared statement.

See here for Michael Volkov’s prepared statement.

Senate Subcommittee to Examine FCPA Enforcement

Senator Arlen Specter will chair a hearing of the Subcommittee on Crime and Drugs of the Senate Judiciary Committee on Tuesday, November 30th.

The hearing, “Examining Enforcement of the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act” will be held at 9:30 a.m. in Room 226 of the Dirksen Senate Office Building and a webcast of the hearing can be seen here.

I am delighted to have the opportunity to be one of the witnesses testifying at the hearing.

Other witnesses are: Greg Andres (DOJ – Deputy Assistant Attorney General, Criminal Division), Andrew Weissmann (Jenner & Block); and Michael Volkov (Mayer Brown).

Turkey and the FCPA

The following FCPA enforcement actions have involved (in whole or in part) business conduct in Turkey.

Daimler AG (March 2010)

In March 2010, Damiler AG agreed to settle a wide-ranging FCPA enforcement action alleging that “between 1998 and January 2008, Daimler made hundreds of improper payments worth tens of milions of dollars to foreign officials in at least 22 countries – including China, Croatia, Egypt, Greece, Hungary, Indonesia, Iraq, Ivory Coast, Latvia, Nigeria, Russia, Serbia and Montenegro, Thailand, Turkey, Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan, Vietnam, and others – to assist in securing contracts with government customers for the purchase of Daimler vehicles valued at hundreds of milions of dollars.”

As to Turkey, the criminal information (here) charges that Daimler’s Corporate Audit Department “discovered three binders located in a safe at MB Turk’s [a Daimler subsidiary in Turkey] offices in Istabul” that, along with other evidence, demonstrated that “MB Turk made approximately €6.05 million in payments to third parties in connection with vehicle export transactions that involved the sale of vehicles to non-Turkish government customers in North Korea, Latvia, Bulgaria, Libya, Romania, Russia, Saudi Arabia, Yemen, and other countries in deals with revenues of approximately €95 million.” According to the information, at least €3.88 million of the €6.05 million comprised of “improper payments and gifts […] paid to foreign government officials or to third parties with the understanding that the payments and gifts would be passed on, in whole or in part, to foreign government officials to assist in securing the sale of Daimler vehicles to government customers.”

Daimler agreed to pay $185 million in combined DOJ and SEC fines and penalties (see here).

York International Corp. (Oct. 2007)

In October 2007, York International Corporation (York), a global provider of heating, ventilation, air conditioning, and refrigeration products and services, agreed to pay approximately $22 million in combined fines and penalties to settle DOJ and SEC enforcement actions principally relating to improper payments made by various subsidiaries to the Iraqi government under the United Nations Oil-for-Food Program. The enforcement action also involved certain other improper payments made in connection with government projects in Bahrain, Egypt, India, Turkey and the United Arab Emirates. (see here).

Delta & Pine Land Co. (July 2007)

In July 2007, the SEC announced a settled FCPA enforcement action against Delta & Pine Land Company, a Mississippi-based cottonseed company, and its subsidiary, Turk Deltapine, Inc. According to the SEC, between 2001 – 2006, Turk Deltapine made payments of approximately $43,000 to officials of the Turkish Ministry of Agricultural and Rural Affairs in order to obtain various governmental reports and certifications that were necessary for Turk Deltapine to obtain, retain and operate its business in Turkey. Per the complaint, the improper payments were discovered by Delta & Pine, but instead of halting the payments, the payments continued via a third party supplier and pursuant to an inflated invoice scheme. Based on the above conduct, Delta & Pine and Turk Deltapine jointly agreed to pay a $300,000 civil penalty and engage an independent compliance consultant. (see here and here).

Micrus Corp. (March 2005)

In March 2005, Micrus Corporation, a privately-held California medical device manufacturer, agreed to a two year non-prosecution agreement with the DOJ to resolve its FCPA liability in connection with over $100,000 in payments (disguised in the company’s books and records as stock options, honorariums and commissions) to physicians employed at publicly owned and operated hospitals in France, Turkey, Spain, and Germany.(see here) and here)

*****

Thanks for reading, safe travels, and may your turkey be golden brown!

Powered by WordPress. Designed by WooThemes