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DOJ Individual Actions: The Strange Public – Private Divide

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This recent post highlighted certain facts and figures regarding the DOJ’s prosecution of individuals for Foreign Corrupt Practices Act offenses in 2017 and historically.

As highlighted in the prior post, DOJ FCPA individual enforcement actions are significantly skewed by a small handful of enforcement actions and the reality is, despite the DOJ’s rhetoric, 77% of DOJ corporate enforcement actions since 2006 have not (at least yet) resulted in any related DOJ FCPA charges against company employees.

Another very interesting and significant picture emerges when analyzing actual DOJ individual FCPA prosecutions based on whether the individual charged was employed by or otherwise associated with an issuer or a private business organization.

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A Focus On DOJ Individual Actions

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This recent post focused on SEC individual FCPA actions in 2017 and historically and this post highlights certain facts and figures concerning the DOJ’s prosecution of individuals for Foreign Corrupt Practices Act violations in 2017 and historically.

As highlighted numerous times on FCPA Professor over the past several years, the DOJ frequently talks about the importance of individual criminal prosecutions. In 2017, DOJ officials stated: “The DOJ is committed to holding  individuals accountable for criminal activity.” “Effective deterrence of corporate corruption requires prosecution of culpable individuals.  We should not just announce large corporate fines and celebrate penalizing shareholders.”

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Friday Roundup

Roundup

Funny, also funny, corruption in the anti-corruption industry, the head of the DOJ’s FCPA Unit writes, reasons for the general increase in FCPA enforcement, scrutiny alert, asset recovery, and for the reading stack. It’s all here in the Friday roundup.

Funny

This recent FCPA Blog post asked “what’s the most important FCPA case ever” and stated: “The Africa Sting showed how far the feds would go to make a splashy FCPA case. But the final lesson was that using a big sting to concoct a supposed industry-wide conspiracy was a bad idea. The judge didn’t buy it, and neither did a couple of juries.”

Funny that the post doesn’t mention that the the person at the center of this failed, manufactured case was its current Contributing Editor and training partner Richard Bistrong.

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Statement On The DOJ’s New “Revised FCPA Corporate Enforcement Policy.”

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As highlighted in this previous post, earlier today Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein announced that the DOJ issued a new “revised FCPA corproate enforcement policy.” (See here for the actual policy in the U.S. Attorneys’ Manual).

The following statement may be attributed to Professor Koehler.

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DOJ Announces A “Revised FCPA Corporate Enforcement Policy”

Justice Dept

One of the best things ever written about the FCPA was penned nearly 35 years ago by Robert Primoff who stated: “The government has the option of deciding whether or not to prosecute.  For practitioners, however, the situation is intolerable.  We must be able to advise our clients as to whether their conduct violates the law, not whether this year’s crop of administrators is likely to enforce a particular alleged violation.  That would produce, in effect, a government of men and women rather than a government of law.”

Earlier today, the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act space once again witnessed a government of individuals rather than law as the DOJ announced yet another non-binding FCPA enforcement policy document.

Several forthcoming posts will examine in greater detail the “revised FCPA corporate enforcement policy”, but for now set forth below are the relevant portions of Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein’s speech. (See here for the actual new policy in the U.S. Attorneys’ Manual. Note: the new policy is 9-47.120, the other FCPA portions in the USAM have been there for years).

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