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Brazil State-Owned Co. Allegedly Facilitates Payments To Brazilian Politicians And Political Parties And U.S. Collects Net $170 Million In FCPA Enforcement Action

Uncle Sam3

This morning the DOJ and SEC announced (here and here) that Petrobras, a Brazilian state-owned and state-controlled energy company, entered into agreements with U.S. and Brazilian authorities “in connection with Petrobras’s role in facilitating payments to politicians and political parties in Brazil, as well as a related Brazilian investigation.”

After various credits and deductions for a related law enforcement action in Brazil, the net FCPA settlement is approximately $170 million ($85.3 million DOJ, $85.3 million SEC). Brazil will collect $682.6 million. The remainder of this post provides an in-depth summary of the enforcement action.

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DOJ Quietly Releases “Declination With Disgorgement” Letter Agreement Concerning Insurance Corp. Of Barbados Ltd.

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Yesterday, the DOJ quitely posted to its FCPA website this “declination with disgorgement” letter concerning Insurance Corporation of Barbados Limited (ICBL).

Pursuant to the agreement, ICBL agreed to pay approximately $94,000 to the U.S. for alleged bribes to a Barbadian government official in exchange for insurance contracts.

The full text of the DOJ’s letter to ICBL’s counsel (Adam Siegel – Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer) is as follows.

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The Case That Just Keeps On Giving – DOJ Announces Additional Charges In PDVSA Bribery Action

PDVSA

Several prior posts (see herehere and here for instance) have highlighted the clustering phenomenon and how a few discreet instances of alleged bribery yield an inordinate amount of Foreign Corrupt Practices Act enforcement activity against individuals.

One such example is the DOJ’s long-standing enforcement action (charges were first brought in late 2015) in connection with alleged corrupt schemes to secure contracts from Venezuela’s state-owned and state-controlled energy company, PDVSA.

Yesterday, the DOJ announced that Jose Manuel Gonzalez Testino (Gonzalez – a dual U.S.-Venezuelan citizen) was arrested at Miami International Airport based on a criminal complaint charging conspiracy to violate the FCPA and a substantive FCPA violation for “conspiring to make, and making, corrupt payments to an official [at PDVSA] in exchange for favorable business treatment with PDVSA.”

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Next Up – A $77 Million Enforcement Action Against Credit Suisse

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First, it was BNY Mellon Corp. in August 2015 for $14.8 million (see here and here for prior posts). Then, it was Qualcomm in March 2016 for $7.5 million (see here and here for prior posts). Then, it was JPMorgan in November 2016 for $202.6 million (see here, here, and here for prior posts).

Next up in Foreign Corrupt Practices Act enforcement actions (mostly targeting the financial services industry) focusing, in whole or in part, on internship and hiring practices being a form of bribery is Credit Suisse as the DOJ and SEC officially announced today (see here and here) the expected enforcement action (see here).

If you were wondering whether this “scurrilous and hypocritical” form of FCPA enforcement action (as stated by a former SEC Chairman see here) would carry forward to the Trump administration, you now have the answer.

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Legg Mason Also Ponies Up $64 Million To Resolve FCPA Enforcement Action Concerning Conduct In Libya That Occurred 9-14 Years Ago By “Only Two Mid-To-Lower Level Employees Of A Subsidiary”

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A few hours after the DOJ announced a net $293 million Foreign Corrupt Practices Act enforcement action against Société Générale S.A concerning conduct in Libya that occurred 9-14 years ago (see here for the prior post), the DOJ also announced that investment management firm Legg Mason also agreed to pony up $64 million to resolve a related enforcement action.

Pursuant to a three-year NPA, Legg Mason agreed to pay $64 million based on the conduct of “only two mid-to-lower level employees of a subsidiary of the company” (specifically Permal Group Ltd.). According to the DOJ: “Permal’s financial statements were consolidated into Legg Mason’s financial statements and they participated in a net revenue sharing arrangement, and all employees of Permal were subject to Legg Mason’s code of conduct.”

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