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Cognizant Technology Solutions Resolves $25 Million SEC Enforcement Action In Connection With Various Licenses And Permits In India

cognizant

This previous post highlighted the DOJ and SEC’s individual enforcement action against Gordon Coburn and Steven Schwartz (former executives of Cognizant Technology Solutions) in connection with a planning permit in India.

This post highlights the SEC’s enforcement action (as well as the DOJ’s so-called declination letter) against the company based on the same core conduct in which the company, without admitting or denying the SEC’s findings, agreed to pay approximately $25 million in disgorgement and prejudgement interest.

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Former Cognizant Technology Solutions Executives Criminally And Civilly Charged In Connection With Indian Planning Permit – Company Resolves $25 Million SEC Enforcement Action

coburnschwartz

In this 2016 post highlighting Cognizant Technology Solutions’s disclosure of Foreign Corrupt Practices Act scrutiny it was also noted that Gordon Coburn resigned from his position as President of Cognizant Technology Solutions. This follow-up post noted that the two disclosures were likely related.

Sure enough as today the DOJ announced that Coburn and Steven Schwartz (Executive Vice President, Chief Legal and Corporate Affairs Officer) were criminally charged with FCPA violations. If the defendants choose to put the DOJ/SEC to its burden of proof, disputed issues will likely focus on corrupt intent, obtain or retain business and the facilitating payments exception.

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Owner Of Hawaii-Based Engineering And Consulting Company Pleads Guilty To Bribing Micronesian (And Hawaiian) Officials

lyons

Recently, the DOJ filed this criminal information against Frank James Lyon, the owner of Lyon Associates Inc. (a privately-held engineering and consulting company headquartered in Hawaii).

The information, to which Lyon subsequently pleaded guilty, charges him with conspiracy to violate the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (based on things of value provided to officials in the Federated States of Micronesia – FSM) as well as paying bribes to an agent of an organization receiving federal funds (based on things of value provided to officials with a Hawaii governmental agency – State Agency).

As highlighted below, the Lyon action is interesting on several levels.

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DOJ FCPA Enforcement – 2018 Year In Review

Justice Dept

This previous post highlighted various corporate Foreign Corrupt Practices Act enforcement statistics from 2018 and this post goes in-depth into various facts and figures relevant to DOJ FCPA enforcement in 2018. (See here for a similar post from 2017, here for a similar post from 2016, here for a similar post from 2015, here for a similar post from 2014, here for a similar post from 2013, here for a similar post from 2012, here for a similar post from 2011, and here from 2010).

Settlement Amounts and Specifics

In 2018, the DOJ brought 8 corporate FCPA enforcement actions.

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Former Credit Suisse Bankers Charged With FCPA And Other Offenses In Connection With Various Mozambican Maritime Projects

mozambique

Yesterday this criminal indictment was unsealed charging former Credit Suisse bankers Andrew Pearse, Surjan Singh, and Detelina Subeva with conspiracy to violate the FCPA’s anti-bribery and internal controls provisions in connection with financing various Mozambican maritime projects.

In many respects, the action is similar to the November 2018 enforcement action against various individuals associated with Goldman Sachs in connection with Malaysia’s 1MDB fund (see here for the prior post).

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