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Microsoft Resolves Long-Standing FCPA Scrutiny By Agreeing To Pay $25.3 Million

microsft

Microsoft has been under Foreign Corrupt Practices Act scrutiny since early 2013 (see here for the prior post). Yesterday, the DOJ and SEC announced here and here an aggregate $25.3 million enforcement action against the company and a Hungarian subsidiary concerning conduct in Hungary, Saudi Arabia, Thailand and Turkey.

The enforcement action involved a DOJ component involving a non-prosecution agreement involving MS Hungary in which the entity agreed to pay a $8.8 million criminal penalty and an SEC administrative order against Microsoft finding violations of the FCPA’s books and records and internal controls provisions in which the company agreed, without admitting or denying the SEC’s findings, to pay disgorgement and prejudgment interest of approximately $16.5 million.

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DOJ Brings Additional Criminal Charges In Connection With PetroEcuador Bribery Scheme

petroecuador

Similar to how the April 2018 indictment of Frank Roberto Chatburn Ripalda alleging a bribery scheme involving PetroEcuador officials generally went unnoticed (see here for the prior post), this May 2019 indictment of Armengol Alfonso Cevallas Diaz (an Ecuadorian citizen) and Jose Melquiades Cisneros Alarcon (an Ecuadorian citizen and permanent resident of the U.S.) concerning the same alleged bribery scheme also generally went unnoticed.

The indictment charges Cevallos and Cisneros with conspiracy to violate the FCPA’s anti-bribery provisions, conspiracy to commit money laundering, and numerous money laundering offenses.

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Stiffed By Co-Conspirators, Individual Cooperates With Government And The End Result Is Yet Another FCPA Enforcement Action Concerning Conduct In Venezuela

corpoelec

Earlier this week, the DOJ announced yet another Foreign Corrupt Practices Act and related enforcement action concerning conduct in Venezuela.

Jesus Ramon Veroes and Luis Alberto Chacin Haddad were each charged and plead guilty to conspiracy to violate the FCPA’s anti-bribery provisions in connection with obtaining various contracts with Corporacion Electric Nacional S.A. (Corpoelec), Venezuela’s state-owned electric company.

In the resolution documents, Veroes is described as a Venezuelan citizen whose close relative is the President of NV Oriental Trading Corporation (a company based in Doral, Florida) and Chacin is described as a Venezuelan citizen and resident of the U.S. who owns and manages businesses in Miami including Search Trading LLC and Headline LLC (companies that purchase goods from around the world for export to Central and South America).

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TechnipFMC Joins FCPA Repeat Offender Club, Resolves Net $81.9 Million DOJ FCPA Enforcement Action, SEC Enforcement Action Forthcoming, Individual Criminally Charged

technipfmc

That’s a dense headline, but there was much at play in this DOJ announcement from earlier this week.

First, Technip joined the ever growing list of FCPA repeat offenders (see here) as the company previously resolved a $340 million FCPA enforcement action in 2010 concerning conduct at Bonny Island, Nigeria. (See here and here for prior posts). For good measure, as highlighted in this prior post, in 2016 FMC Technologies resolved a so-called non-FCPA, FCPA enforcement action.

Second, most FCPA enforcement actions against issuers that include a DOJ and SEC component are resolved on the same day, however this week’s development was DOJ only and this company press release states “TechnipFMC has reached an agreement in principle with the SEC Staff, subject to final SEC approval.”

Third, in connection with the same core conduct alleged in the DOJ enforcement action the DOJ also criminally charged Zwi Skornicki (a citizen of Brazil).

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Approximately 7.5 Years After Disclosing FCPA Scrutiny, Walmart FINALLY Resolves FCPA Enforcement Action

Wal-Mart

As highlighted in this prior post, in late 2011 Walmart disclosed that it began “an internal investigation into whether certain matters, including permitting, licensing and inspections, were in compliance” with the FCPA.

So began arguably one of the most high-profile instances of corporate scrutiny in Foreign Corrupt Practices Act. history. The scrutiny FINALLY came to an end yesterday as the DOJ and SEC announced (here and here) a coordinated $282 million enforcement action. As highlighted in this prior post, Walmart disclosed this likely settlement amount in November 2017,  yet it still took approximately 1.5 additional years to formally resolve the matter.

This post summarizes the DOJ and SEC’s enforcement action concerning alleged improper conduct in the following countries: Mexico, Brazil, India and China.  Future posts will explore numerous other issues relevant to the enforcement action.

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