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Ho Convicted Of FCPA And Related Offenses

Ho

As highlighted in this previous post, in November 2017 Chi Ping Patrick Ho (pictured) and Cheikh Gadio were criminally charged with conspiring to violate the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act, violating the FCPA, conspiring to commit international money laundering, and committing international money laundering in connection with alleged bribery schemes in Chad and Uganda on behalf of China Energy Fund Committee, an entity funded by CEFC China Energy Company Ltd.

In July 2018, Ho’s motion to dismiss was denied (see here), in September 2018 the DOJ quietly dismissed charges against Gadio (see here), and in late November Ho’s trial began with Gadio as a primary DOJ witness.

Yesterday, the DOJ announced that after a one week trial a federal jury found Ho guilty of one count of conspiring to violate the FCPA, four counts of violating the FCPA, one count of conspiring to commit international money laundering and one count of committing international money laundering.

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The Charitable Donation That Did Not Occur

StopSign

After the introductory comments in italics, the remainder of this post is from Corporate Counsel at a well-known U.S. based publicly traded company.

Do Foreign Corrupt Practices Act enforcement actions based on foreign charitable donations (such as Schering-Plough, Nu Skin Enterprises and several others that include such allegations) represent a net positive or net negative?

The FCPA Guidance contains the unobjectionable statement that companies “cannot use the pretense of charitable contributions as a way to funnel bribes to government officials.” However, seldom are the circumstances as black and white as the government portrays and query whether business organizations, because of this guidance and because of the above enforcement actions involving charitable donations, have become excessively risk averse and have stopped contributing to humanitarian causes or otherwise pulled back from supporting communities or institutions in need. According to the below guest post, the answer is yes and query whether the world is a better place because of this.

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Dubious As It Was, The Schering-Plough Enforcement Action Was Notable

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[This post is part of a periodic series regarding “old” FCPA enforcement actions]

This recent post discussed how from a compliance take-away standpoint the large, egregious, no reasonable minds could differ there was bribery, enforcement actions are the least important and least instructive.

Rather, the most instructive and thus important enforcement actions tend to be those that take the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act in a new direction, involve unique interpretations of law (not subjected to any judicial scrutiny of course) and thus pose new compliance challenges for business organizations. The SEC’s 2004 enforcement action against Schering-Plough, based on a bona-fide charitable contribution, certainly fits this mold.

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DOJ Charges Two Individuals With FCPA And Other Violations In Connection With An African Bribery Scheme On Behalf Of CEFC China Energy Company Ltd.

ChinaEnergy

Yesterday, the DOJ announced that Chi Ping Patrick Ho (of Hong Kong, China) and Cheikh Gadio (of Senegal) were criminally charged with conspiring to violate the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act, violating the FCPA, conspiring to commit international money laundering, and committing international money laundering.

Although not specifically mentioned in the DOJ’s indictment, it is easy to connect the dots that Ho is associated with China Energy Fund Committee (CEFC) and as noted here, CEFC is “fully funded by CEFC China Energy Company Limited.” Gadio is associated with Sarata Holding (a consulting and advising firm specializing in business and development partnerships with Africa).

Big picture – in the past two weeks – the DOJ has announced three core FCPA enforcement actions involving 9 individuals. (See here for the November 7th action against 5 individuals associated with Rolls-Royce and here for the November 9th action against 2 individuals associated with SBM Offshore).

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Jay Jorgensen On Walmart’s Enhanced Ethics & Compliance Program

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Recently Jay Jorgensen (Walmart Executive V.P. and Global Chief Ethics and Compliance Officer) delivered a keynote address at The FCPA at 40 symposium hosted by Texas A&M University School of Law on October 12th.

Portions of Jorgensen’s address are published below with permission. Jorgensen’s entire keynote address will be published in a forthcoming issue of the Texas A&M Law Review. In the excerpted portion, Jorgensen talks about the transformation of Walmart’s ethics and compliance program with a focus on anti-corruption. Specifically, Jorgensen discusses Walmart’s approach to: third-party due diligence and payments; licenses and permits; donations and charitable contributions; financial controls; and enhanced training.

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