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Friday Roundup


Checking in on Wal-Mart, DOJ “declinations,” another installment of as we say not as we do, scrutiny alerts, and cashing in. It’s all here in the Friday roundup.


In its recent 2Q FY2017 earnings call presentation Wal-Mart disclosed $28 million in Foreign Corrupt Practices Act and compliance related expenses ($23 million for ongoing investigations and inquiries and $5 million for global compliance program and organizational enhancements). The Q2 expenses of $28 million are higher than the Q1 expenses of $25 million.

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FCPA Flash – A Conversation With Philip Rohlik Regarding The DOJ’s So-Called “Declinations”

FCPA Flash

The FCPA Flash podcast provides in an audio format the same fresh, candid, and informed commentary about the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act and related topics as readers have come to expect from the written posts on FCPA Professor.

This FCPA Flash episode is a conversation with Philip Rohlik (Debevoise & Plimpton). In the episode, Rohlik elaborates on points previously articulated in the firm’s FCPA Update regarding the DOJ’s recent so-called “declinations” – namely that in none of the recent examples did the companies truly benefit from not being charged with a violation that they did not commit. (For background reading, see prior posts here and here).

The term “declination” has certainly become part of the FCPA vocabulary in recent years; however many conversations regarding this topic are muddied because the term lacks a definition. In the episode, Rohlik provides informed insight on recent so-called “declinations” and the episode is a must listen for FCPA practitioners, in-house counsel, and others interested in this important topic.

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And The Apple Goes To …


Debevoise & Plimpton’s FCPA Update is consistently one of the best periodic Foreign Corrupt Practices Act publications around.

The most recent issue contains a dandy article by Andrew Levine, Bruce Yannett, Philip Rohlik which focuses on the DOJ’s recent so-called declinations.

For not believing the hype regarding the DOJ’s so-called declinations – as several FCPA commentators have – but rather analyzing the salient question posed by the so-called “declinations,” the Debevoise authors are awarded the FCPA Apple Award which recognizes informed, candid, and fresh thought-leadership on the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act or related topics.

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A Simple Common Sense Fix To Enhance The Credibility Of The DOJ’s So-Called “Declinations”


The DOJ’s recent so-called “declinations” suffer from a credibility problem.

As highlighted in prior posts here and here, the salient question that should be asked in connection with the DOJ’s recent “declination” letters to Johnson Controls, Nortek and Akamai Technologies is what viable criminal charges did the DOJ actually decline? From the only information in the public domain (the SEC’s resolution documents in each matter) the answer appears to be none.

If the DOJ wants to enhance the credibility of its so-called “declinations,” there is a simple fix – a modest proposal first advanced on this page six years ago – long before the DOJ’s FCPA Pilot Program and long before the term “declination” became part of the FCPA vocabulary.

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Blowing The Whistle On Recent Commentary


Pardon me for being that guy, but in the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act space someone needs to put on the stripes every now and then and blow the whistle.

This post does just that regarding certain recent “declination” commentary including the recent Johnson Controls enforcement action. For prior posts on the DOJ’s recent so-called “declinations” in the Nortek and Akamai see this post titled “Dont’ Believe the Hype, Rather Ask What Viable Criminal Charges Did the DOJ Actually Decline.” For prior posts on the Johnson Controls enforcement action see here, here, and here.

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