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Further To The SEC’s Inconsistent Approach To Enforcing The FCPA’s Books And Records And Internal Controls Provisions

inconistent

As highlighted in previous posts on this subject (herehere and here), a basic rule of law principle is consistency.

In other words, the same legal violation ought to be sanctioned in the same way. When the same legal violation is sanctioned in materially different ways, trust and confidence in law enforcement is diminished.

However, there sure does seem to be a lack of consistency between how the SEC resolves Foreign Corrupt Practices Act books and records and internal controls violations.

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Alliance One Becomes A Repeat Offender Of The Books And Records And Internal Controls Provisions

repeatoffender

As highlighted here, in 2010 tobacco company Alliance One International resolved an approximate $19.5 million Foreign Corrupt Practices Act enforcement action concerning conduct in Kyrgyzstan, Thailand, China, Greece, and Indonesia. In resolving the SEC matter Alliance One consented to the entry of final judgment permanently enjoining it from violating the FCPA including the books and records and internal controls provisions.

Last week, Alliance One (now known as Pyxus International, Inc.) became a repeat offender of the FCPA’s books and records and internal controls provisions in a so-called non-FCPA FCPA enforcement action (i.e. the books and records and internal controls violations did not involve foreign bribery).

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Citigroup Pays $10.5 Million To Resolve Books And Records And Internal Controls Enforcement Actions

citi

This 2014 post highlighted Citigroup’s FCPA scrutiny after it disclosed various business practices in its Mexican Banamex unit. The prior post highlighted how the FCPA’s generic books and records and internal controls provisions can be implicated in the absence of any FCPA anti-bribery issues.

Fast forward to last week as the SEC announced two enforcement actions (see here and here) against Citigroup finding violations of, among other things, the FCPA’s books and records and internal controls provisions.

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Issues To Consider From The Credit Suisse Enforcement Action

Issues

This post highlighted the recent $77 million Foreign Corrupt Practices Act enforcement action against Credit Suisse concerning its internship and hiring practices involving family members of alleged Chinese “foreign officials.” This post continues the analysis by highlighting additional issues to consider.

Timeline

Credit Suisse’s FCPA scrutiny appears to have begun in late 2013 (see here). Thus from start to finish, its scrutiny lasted approximately 4.5 years.

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Beam Pours $8.2 Million Into The Treasury And Becomes The Latest Alcoholic Beverage Company To Resolve An FCPA Enforcement Action Based On India Conduct

Beam

First it was alcoholic beverage company Diageo based on conduct in India and elsewhere (see here).

Then it was alcoholic beverage company ABInBev based on conduct in India (see here).

Yesterday, the SEC announced yet another Foreign Corrupt Practices Act enforcement action against an alcoholic beverage company for conduct in India.

This time it was Beam Inc. (now known as Beam Suntory Inc.) which up until April 2014 had shares traded on the New York Stock Exchange until Suntory Holdings Limited (a Japanese company) acquired Beam which thereafter delisted from the NYSE.

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