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The FCPA Blog Continues To Muddy The Conversational Waters

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Call me old-fashioned, but I believe that FCPA information sources should strive to make things more clear and not muddy the conversational waters.

Yet, the FCPA Blog seems to have a knack for the later (e.g. sorry FCPA Blog, but Legg Mason did not pay $2.4 million to the SEC, but rather $34.5 million) including its posts on so-called “declinations” which are then frequently flung into the FCPA’s echo chamber.

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What Viable Criminal Charges Against Guralp Systems Did The DOJ Actually “Decline”?

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This July 2017 post highlighted the criminal conviction of 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) for “laundering bribes that he received from two seismological companies based in California and England through the U.S. banking system.”

The prior post noted that attention now turns to Kinemetrics (the California company) and Guralp Systems Ltd. (the U.K. company).

Recently, the DOJ quitely released this substantively vague so-called declination letter concerning Guralp Systems. However, as highlighted below it is difficult to analyze just what viable criminal charges against Guralp Systems that the DOJ actually “declined” to prosecute.

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Once Again, Rebooting A Long-Standing FCPA Proposal, This Time In The Aftermath Of A Recent Disclosure By Hertz

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Including the first time I proposed this concept in 2010, this is the eight time I have written this general post (see herehereherehereherehere and here for the previous versions) and until things change I will keep writing it which means I will probably keep writing this same general post long into the future.

The proposal is this: when a company voluntarily discloses an FCPA internal investigation to the DOJ and/or SEC and when one or both of the enforcement agencies do not bring an enforcement action, have the enforcement agency publicly state, in a thorough and transparent mannerthe facts the company disclosed and why the enforcement agency did not bring an enforcement action based on those facts.

As highlighted in this prior post, in 2017 rental car company Hertz Global Holdings disclosed:

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FCPA Flash Podcast – A Conversation With Philip Rohlik Regarding The Dun & Bradstreet Enforcement Action

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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 written posts on FCPA Professor.

This FCPA Flash episode is a conversation with Philip Rohlik (Debevoise & Plimpton) regarding the recent Dun & Bradstreet enforcement action. As highlighted in this previous post, the enforcement action was unremarkable from a settlement amount perspective, yet serves as a microcosm of the many problems with FCPA enforcement and in the podcast Rohlik: questions just what criminal charges the DOJ actually declined and discusses other issues relevant to the so-called declination; discusses the concerning internal controls standard the SEC invoked in the enforcement action; and takes issue with certain commentary regarding the enforcement action.

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FCPA Flash Podcast – A Conversation With James Koukios Regarding FCPA Enforcement And Compliance

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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 written posts on FCPA Professor.

This FCPA Flash episode is a conversation with James Koukios (Morrison & Foerster and former Senior Deputy Chief of the DOJ’s Fraud Section). During the podcast, Koukios elaborates on various points he made in this recent article including: (i) how FCPA enforcement has made “significant and positive contributions to the development of compliance programs and standards; (ii) how regulators and prosecutors may take “unfair and impractical [FCPA] positions;” and (iii) how “FCPA enforcement should not be so puritanical as to stifle legitimate business opportunities or cause companies to overspend on ineffective compliance measures.”

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