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The Kleptocracy Asset Recovery Rewards Act

assetrecovery

Efforts by the U.S. government to combat foreign corruption are broader than just the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act. For instance, approximately ten years ago the DOJ announced a Kleptocracy Asset Recovery Initiative.

Related to this general program, recently Representative Stephen Lynch (D-MA) introduced H.R. 5101 – the Kleptocracy Asset Recovery Rewards Act “to authorize the Secretary of the Treasury to pay rewards under an asset recovery rewards program to help identify and recover stolen assets linked to foreign government corruption and the proceeds of such corruption hidden behind complex financial structures in the United States and abroad.”

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Friday Roundup

Roundup

Funny, also funny, corruption in the anti-corruption industry, the head of the DOJ’s FCPA Unit writes, reasons for the general increase in FCPA enforcement, scrutiny alert, asset recovery, and for the reading stack. It’s all here in the Friday roundup.

Funny

This recent FCPA Blog post asked “what’s the most important FCPA case ever” and stated: “The Africa Sting showed how far the feds would go to make a splashy FCPA case. But the final lesson was that using a big sting to concoct a supposed industry-wide conspiracy was a bad idea. The judge didn’t buy it, and neither did a couple of juries.”

Funny that the post doesn’t mention that the the person at the center of this failed, manufactured case was its current Contributing Editor and training partner Richard Bistrong.

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Acting Assistant Attorney General Blanco Delivers FCPA Speech

Blaco

Today, Acting Assistant Attorney General Kenneth Blanco delivered these remarks at a Foreign Corrupt Practices Act / OECD Convention Anniversary Conference held at NYU School of Law. This post excerpts portions of Blanco’s remarks.

But first a few comments.

In his speech, Blanco states that it “is astonishing to think about what the FCPA and OECD Anti-Bribery Convention have achieved in a relatively short period of time.” That of course depends on what the word “achieve” means. On one level, has the FCPA really “achieved” (after 40 years – not exactly a “relatively short time period”) its objective of reducing bribery given that there are more enforcement actions, not fewer, as the FCPA has matured?

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Acting Assistant AG Blanco On Foreign Law Enforcement Cooperation

cooperation2

Acting Assistant Attorney General Kenneth Blanco recently delivered this speech which focused largely on foreign law enforcement cooperation in bribery investigations. The bulk of the speech concerned U.S. – Brazil cooperation with portions also dedicated to the DOJ’s Kleptocracy Asset Recovery Initiative.

In his speech, Blanco used much of the same rhetoric as prior DOJ officials have in talking about bribery and corruption and once again the notion that the U.S. will “push[] forward hard against corruption, wherever it is” is subject to interpretation.

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With Chi Guilty Verdict, Focus Shifts To Kinemetrics And Guralp Systems

focus

The DOJ recently announced that Heon-Cheol Chi (Chi) of South Korea, “the Director of South Korea’s Earthquake Research Center at the Korea Institute of Geoscience and Mineral Resources (KIGAM) was convicted … following a four-day jury trial of laundering bribes that he received from two seismological companies based in California and England through the U.S. banking system.”

As noted here, according to court documents the companies are Kinemetrics (a California company that designs technologies, products, and solutions for monitoring earthquakes and their effects on people and structures) and Guralp Systems Ltd. (a U.K. company that designs, manufactures and delivers products, services, systems and solutions for a wide range of applications for the seismological research community as well as the the oil & gas, civil engineering and energy sectors.)

With the Chi guilty verdict, focus shifts to Kinemetrics and Guralp Systems and when asked if there would be an FCPA enforcement action against these companies a DOJ spokesperson informed me via e-mail that “the investigation is ongoing.”

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