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Are FCPA Third-Party “Best Practices” Xenophobic?

question marks2

There is often discussion of “victims” of Foreign Corrupt Practices Act violations. Yet, I genuinely  believe that one of the seldom-discussed “victim” categories of this new era of FCPA enforcement and resulting compliance “best practices” is foreign third parties.

For starters, a business organization can be exposed to FCPA anti-bribery violations based on the conduct of various third parties (assuming the “knowledge” component of the third-party payment provisions is met). Moreover, based on current enforcement theories, the mere “improper” recording of foreign third-party transactions may constitute a books and records violation and the enforcement agencies frequently find internal controls violations based on various alleged deficiencies concerning a business organization’s relationship with foreign third parties.

Because of these legal provisions (and aggressive and dubious enforcement of these provisions), an extensive and elaborate series of “best practices” have developed around pre-engagement, engagement, and post-engagement of foreign third parties.

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Friday Roundup

Roundup

Across the pond, the big picture, ripple, a muddy mess, to FCPA Inc., scrutiny alert, silly and erroneous, misleading, ISO 37001 related, and for the reading stack.

It’s all here in the Friday roundup.

Across the Pond

In this recent speech, David Green (Director of the U.K. Serious Fraud Office) said the U.K. Bribery Act is “regarded as a gold standard internationally” and, as further proof that so-called enforcement competition does exist, he stated:

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Much Ado About…Little?

Wal-Mart

I didn’t come up with the headline, but I did participate in an extensive Q&A about Walmart’s FCPA scrutiny with Metropolitan Corporate Counsel. The Q&A was published in its most recent issue with the headline: “Much Ado About…Little? How a ‘garden variety’ FCPA investigation of Walmart grabbed the spotlight.”

The Q&A is republished below with permission.

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Friday Roundup

Roundup

Quotable, FCPA issues at City Hall, and for the reading stack. It’s all here in the Friday roundup.

Quotable

In this recent post titled “Judicial Scrutiny of Corporate Monitors: Additional Uncertainty for FCPA Settlements?” Debevoise attorneys Andrew Levine, Philip Rohlik and Michael Gramer note:

“Like many other complex corporate criminal matters, FCPA matters largely get resolved without meaningful judicial oversight. […] In complex cases, corporate criminal enforcement can follow the largely consensual process that has evolved in the FCPA arena.  After a long period of investigation, in which a company often cooperates, the company and DOJ negotiate a resolution, based on legal theories and facts largely determined by the DOJ.

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Unable To File Its Annual Report Due In Large Part To An FCPA Investigation, World Acceptance Corp. Stock Drops 12.4%

world accept

World Acceptance Corporation is a South Carolina based consumer finance company operating in 15 U.S. states and Mexico. It is also the parent company of ParaData Financial Systems, a provider of computer software solutions for the consumer finance industry.

Since late April, its stock price has been on a tear.

That ended yesterday as the company’s stock price fell approximately 12.4% upon disclosing that it would be unable to file its annual report due in large part to a Foreign Corrupt Practices Act investigation.

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