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SEC FCPA Enforcement – 2018 Year In Review

SEC

Foreign Corrupt Practices Act enforcement, it’s not just about the DOJ.

Granted, as a civil enforcement agency the SEC’s sticks are less sharp than the DOJ’s, but the SEC also claims a significant piece of the FCPA enforcement pie (query whether it should – but that is a subject for another day – for instance as discussed in “The Story of the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act” the SEC wanted no part in enforcing the FCPA’s anti-bribery provisions).

This previous post highlighted various corporate enforcement statistics from 2018, this post focused more specifically on DOJ enforcement in 2018, and this post goes in-depth into various facts and figures relevant to SEC FCPA enforcement in 2018.

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Issues To Consider From The Vantage Drilling Enforcement Action

Issues

This previous post went in-depth into the rather unusual Vantage Drilling Foreign Corrupt Practices Act enforcement action and this post continues the analysis by highlighting additional issues to consider.

Timeline

As highlighted here, in July 2015 (or shortly thereafter) Vantage Drilling voluntarily disclosed to the DOJ/SEC. Thus, from start to finish the company’s FCPA scrutiny lasted approximately 3.5 years. While this is below recent averages of approximately 4.5 years, it is still too long for FCPA scrutiny to last particularly since Vantage Drilling, in the words of the SEC:

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SEC Co-Director Of Enforcement Peikin On Success And Remedies

Peikin

Recently, Steven Peikin (Co-Director of the SEC’s Division of Enforcement) gave this speech in which he talked about the meanings of success of the SEC’s enforcement program as well as the remedies and relief available to the SEC in enforcement actions.

While not Foreign Corrupt Practices Act specific, Peikin’s speech was FCPA relevant and portions of the speech (along with commentary) are excerpted below.

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SEC Finally Announces Its FCPA Enforcement Action Against Legg Mason

LG

Prior posts here and here highlighted the DOJ’s June FCPA enforcement action against Legg Mason regarding business conduct in Libya. It was noted in the prior post that FCPA enforcement actions against issuers that involve a DOJ and SEC component are almost always announced on the same day. Yet for some reason, back in June the i’s were not dotted or the t’s crossed at the SEC and the DOJ’s June enforcement action clearly had a placeholder for the forthcoming SEC prong.

That happened earlier today as the SEC finally announced its enforcement action.

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Friday Roundup

Roundup

Impasse, quotable, scrutiny alerts, um excuse me but, and for the reading stack. It’s all here in the Friday roundup.

Impasse

Walmart’s FCPA scrutiny began in late 2011. Yet, nearly seven years later there still has not been an enforcement action.

Bloomberg reports: “Walmart Inc. set aside nearly $300 million last fall for a possible resolution with the U.S. government over international bribery allegations, a sign that an end to the years-long investigation was imminent. But eight months later, the sides are deadlocked, three people familiar with the matter said. It’s not about the money: One source of tension is prosecutors’ insistence that Walmart, the world’s largest retailer, admit to certain misconduct as part of any deal, one of the people said.”

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