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Foreign Subsidiaries Of French Pharma Company Sanofi Allegedly Bribe Kazakh And Middle Eastern “Foreign Officials” – Uncle Sam Collects $25.2 Million

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If history is any guide, September is likely to be an active month for Foreign Corrupt Practices Act enforcement as the SEC’s fiscal year ends.

Sure enough, yesterday the SEC announced an enforcement action against Paris-based pharmaceutical company Sanofi. The conduct at issue focused on employees and agents of the company’s subsidiaries in Kazakstan and various Middle Eastern countries providing things of value to “foreign officials, including healthcare professionals, in order to improperly influence them and increase sales of Sanofi products.”

In doing so, the enforcement action once again raises the policy issue of the U.S. bringing an enforcement action against a foreign company (domiciled in a country also party to the OECD Convention) for its interaction with non-U.S. officials. (See here for a prior post).

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Cryptocurrencies And The FCPA: So What?


There are many things that are FCPA relevant, but not all things are FCPA relevant. As to the later, I’ve been asked several times in recent months different versions of the same general question: what is your view of cryptocurrencies and the FCPA?

I suppose if I wanted to I could blast out (like many FCPA Inc. participants often do) an alert or article highlighting the “emerging risks” and or “hidden dangers” of cryptocurrencies and then use this trigger to market Foreign Corrupt Practices Act compliance services. But this is not what motivates me to write or consistent with my goal of being candid and calling the “balls and strikes” as I see them the regardless of what it may mean for my pocketbook.

Thus, as highlighted below in more detail, my general answer to the above question has been: I don’t really have a view because I don’t think cryptocurrencies – from the standpoint of liability under the FCPA’s anti-bribery provisions – present any unique issues.

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Legg Mason Also Ponies Up $64 Million To Resolve FCPA Enforcement Action Concerning Conduct In Libya That Occurred 9-14 Years Ago By “Only Two Mid-To-Lower Level Employees Of A Subsidiary”


A few hours after the DOJ announced a net $293 million Foreign Corrupt Practices Act enforcement action against Société Générale S.A concerning conduct in Libya that occurred 9-14 years ago (see here for the prior post), the DOJ also announced that investment management firm Legg Mason also agreed to pony up $64 million to resolve a related enforcement action.

Pursuant to a three-year NPA, Legg Mason agreed to pay $64 million based on the conduct of “only two mid-to-lower level employees of a subsidiary of the company” (specifically Permal Group Ltd.). According to the DOJ: “Permal’s financial statements were consolidated into Legg Mason’s financial statements and they participated in a net revenue sharing arrangement, and all employees of Permal were subject to Legg Mason’s code of conduct.”

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Just Following Instructions #precisionmatters


As DOJ compliance counsel, Hui Chen called out the “the lack of precision and intellectual rigor” in much compliance writing and commentary and was applauded on these pages for doing so.

Therefore, Chen encouraged others on social media to use #precisionmatters to “hold each other accountable and tag where more precisions are needed!”

Just following instructions here – #precisionmatters for Chen’s latest article for use of such terms as “centralized visibility,” “organizational culture,” “respect,” “engagement” etc.

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The Case That Keeps On Giving – DOJ Announces Additional Charges In PDVSA Bribery Action


Several prior posts (see here and here for instance) have highlighted the clustering phenomenon and how a few discreet instances of alleged bribery yield an inordinate amount of Foreign Corrupt Practices Act enforcement activity.

One such example is the DOJ’s long-standing enforcement action (charges were first brought in late 2015) in connection with alleged corrupt schemes to secure contracts from Venezuela’s state-owned and state-controlled energy company, PDVSA.

Yesterday, the DOJ announced that additional criminal charges were unsealed “against five former Venezuelan government officials for their alleged participation in an international money laundering scheme involving bribes made to corruptly secure energy contracts from Venezuela’s state-owned and state-controlled energy company, PDVSA.”

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