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Potpourri

Potpourri

Individual FCPA Charges

One reason to read FCPA Professor is to stay ahead of the curve.

For instance, this October 2015 post highlighted alleged bribery at the United Nations charging John Ashe (described as having various positions at the U.N. including serving as the Permanent Representative of Antigua to the U.N. and recently serving as the President of the U.N. General Assembly) and others with a variety of criminal offenses based on allegations that payments were made to Ashe in connection with a U.N. sponsored conference center in Macau, China and to influence business interactions with Antiguan government officials.

The post noted that although the alleged bribery was charged under 18 USC 666 (theft or bribery concerning programs receiving federal funds) on account of the U.N. receiving U.S. federal government funds, Ashe was likely a “foreign official” under the FCPA given that the definition of “foreign official” includes individuals associated with “public international organizations” and the U.N. has been designated as such an organization.

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Attorney General Nominee Jeff Sessions – “I was taught if they violated a law, you charge them. If they didn’t violate the law, you don’t charge them.”

sessions

Non-prosecution agreements and deferred prosecution agreements have distorted many areas of law, perhaps none more than the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act.

As highlighted in the article “Measuring the Impact of NPAs and DPAs on FCPA Enforcement,” since introduced to the FCPA context in 2004, alternative resolution vehicles have become the dominant way the DOJ resolves corporate FCPA scrutiny and serve as an obvious reason for the general increase in FCPA enforcement over the past decade. To the many cheerleaders of increased FCPA enforcement, NPAs and DPAs are thus worthy of applause.

Yet in a legal system based on the rule of law, quality of enforcement is more important than quantity of enforcement. Through empirical data and various case studies, the above article measures the impact NPAs and DPAs have on the quality of FCPA enforcement and concludes that NPAs and DPAs — while resulting in higher quantity of FCPA enforcement — result in lower quality of FCPA enforcement.

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FCPA Flash – A Conversation With Joseph Warin

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 Joseph Warin (Gibson Dunn & Crutcher). Warin is the lead author of an article that recently caught my eye titled “Refusing to Settle: Why Public Companies Go to Trial in Federal Criminal Cases.” The article is not specific to the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act, but several of the factors identified in the article about why companies refuse to settle are certainly relevant to FCPA enforcement.

In the podcast, Warin discusses: (i) why so few companies under FCPA scrutiny refuse to settle; (ii) the de facto compliance defense that companies have successfully invoked in other federal criminal trials; (iii) why the terms of NPAs or DPAs may be worse for companies compared to going to trial; and (iv) whether the current FCPA enforcement environment would look the same if more business organization opted to put the DOJ or SEC to its burden of proof.

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FCPA Flash – A Conversation With Matthew Wagstaff (Joint Head of Bribery and Corruption at the U.K. Serious Fraud Office)

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 Matthew Wagstaff, Joint Head of Bribery and Corruption at the U.K. Serious Fraud Office. In the episode, Wagstaff discusses: (i) whether the Bribery Act’s so-called adequate procedures defense has motivated corporates to adopt best practices compliance policies and procedures to a greater extent than prior to the Bribery Act; (ii) the U.K. deferred prosecution agreement regime including a response to criticism that the regime is actually a step backwards in terms of motivating corporate self-reports; and (iii) the meaning of “success” of an anti-corruption law.

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Friday Roundup

Roundup

No comment, scrutiny alert, when the obvious is not so obvious, quotable, undercover, follow-up, and for the reading stack. It’s all here in the Friday roundup.

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The recent FCPA enforcement action against Chile-based LAN Airlines (in which the company paid $22 million to resolve DOJ and SEC enforcement actions concerning an alleged payment to resolve an Argentina labor dispute) suggested that both Argentine and Chilean law enforcement officials had commenced investigations of the conduct approximately five years ago.

I’ve tried to find information in the public domain regarding these apparent law enforcement investigations but have generally struck out.

For instance, I contacted LAN’s investor relations office and posed the following question:

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