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Same Old, Same Old From The DOJ On Individual FCPA Prosecutions

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In running a Foreign Corrupt Practices Act news source for seven years running, there is a “been there, done that” aspect to some of the writing.

For instance, every late November FCPA Professor highlights speeches by DOJ and SEC enforcement officials at a certain FCPA conference run by a for-profit conference company which engages in the disgraceful practice of marketing our public officials to draw attendance to its paid event as if the public officials are a commodity they own. (See here, here, and here for prior posts regarding this practice).

Why DOJ and SEC officials allow themselves to be used in such a way is beyond me.

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Must See Video Clips From Assistant AG Caldwell’s Recent FCPA Speech

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Kudos to C-SPAN for broadcasting Assistant Attorney General Leslie Caldwell’s recent Foreign Corrupt Practices Act speech and related Q&A. (See here and here for prior posts). The broadcast represents a valuable public service to the FCPA community compared to the norm where DOJ/SEC FCPA officials appear at private events in which the public has to pay to hear their public officials speak about important topics (see here and here for prior posts criticizing this practice) and in which tidbits of information get reported largely through the filters of FCPA Inc. participants.

This post further advances the public interest by clipping Assistant AG Caldwell’s speech into discrete topics such as: (i) how “it’s impossible for a big global company to make sure that all of its employees are following the law all of the time,” (ii) thresholds for voluntary disclosure including how the DOJ does not “need to hear” or “want to hear” about certain potential FCPA violations; (iii) how some companies have engaged in “way too broad” FCPA investigations, and (iv) what a so-called “declination” means.

These clips represent must see video for corporate managers wrestling with FCPA issues and others in the FCPA community.

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Assistant Attorney General Caldwell’s Q&A Regarding FCPA Enforcement

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This post is from Debevoise & Plimpton attorneys Veronica Glick and Jonathan Tuttle.

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Yesterday, Assistant Attorney General Leslie Caldwell discussed the DOJ’s FCPA enforcement goals at George Washington University Law School in Washington, D.C.   Caldwell’s remarks, available here, covered three topics: enforcement focus on large-scale international corruption; transparency in charging decisions with respect to corporate prosecutions; and fostering corporate compliance and cooperation.

The discussion below focuses on the Q&A portion of the event, which included the audience and panelists Karen Popp of Sidley Austin and Susan Karamanian of GW Law.  Assistant Attorney General Caldwell answered questions regarding the DOJ’s new FCPA pilot program, relationships with foreign law enforcement and the DOJ’s understanding of the FCPA’s jurisdictional reach.

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Assistant Attorney General Leslie Caldwell On Transparency, The DOJ’s FCPA Pilot Program, And Corporate Compliance

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Yesterday, Assistant Attorney General Leslie Caldwell participated in an event at George Washington University Law School focused on the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act. The DOJ released these prepared remarks that will be familiar to most FCPA practitioners in that the speech did not break any new ground.

Ms. Caldwell spoke at great length about transparency (similar to this April 2015 speech she delivered on the topic) and added how the DOJ’s FCPA Pilot Program (announced in April 2016) was an effort in increase transparency.

This is an interesting statement given that the majority of the DOJ’s so-called declination letters under the Pilot Program merely reference “potential” FCPA violations and offer no substance whatsoever regarding the “potential” violations.

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A Simple Common Sense Fix To Enhance The Credibility Of The DOJ’s So-Called “Declinations”

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The DOJ’s recent so-called “declinations” suffer from a credibility problem.

As highlighted in prior posts here and here, the salient question that should be asked in connection with the DOJ’s recent “declination” letters to Johnson Controls, Nortek and Akamai Technologies is what viable criminal charges did the DOJ actually decline? From the only information in the public domain (the SEC’s resolution documents in each matter) the answer appears to be none.

If the DOJ wants to enhance the credibility of its so-called “declinations,” there is a simple fix – a modest proposal first advanced on this page six years ago – long before the DOJ’s FCPA Pilot Program and long before the term “declination” became part of the FCPA vocabulary.

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