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AG Sessions Delivers The DOJ’s FCPA Script

script

One can predict with a high degree of certainty what high-ranking DOJ officials will say about the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act even before hearing or reading the speech (and I say that based on highlighting on these pages over 100 FCPA enforcement agency speeches since 2009).

The script goes like this: the DOJ places a high-priority on FCPA enforcement as well as transparent enforcement; the DOJ is committed not just to corporate enforcement, but holding individuals accountable as well; and companies benefit from voluntary disclosure and cooperation.

Just like DOJ Deputy Assistant Attorney General Trevor McFadden did in February (see this prior post) and did so to varying degrees again twice last week (see here and here), yesterday Attorney General Jeff Sessions also delivered the DOJ’s FCPA script.

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DOJ’s McFadden Makes Sense When Talking About “Declinations” And States That FCPA Investigations Should Be “Measured In Months, Not Years”

mcfadden

Yesterday, Acting Principal Deputy Assistant Attorney General Trevor McFadden deliver this speech in Washington, D.C.

Sure, like a prior recent speech, McFadden did read from the “DOJ’s FCPA script,” but to his credit he did say some important things about FCPA compliance that is refreshing to hear from the DOJ. In addition, McFadden’s statement that his “intent is for our FCPA investigations to be measured in months, not years” should be welcome news to the business community. However, the DOJ has been saying the same thing for years and a wait and see approach is most prudent. For instance, in this 2005 speech then DOJ Assistant Attorney General for the Criminal Division Christopher Wray talked about “real-time enforcement” and stated: “in other words, punishing wrongdoers promptly after they commit their crimes. Simply put, speed matters in corporate fraud investigations . The days of five-year investigations, of agreement after agreement tolling the statute of limitations-while ill-gotten gains are frittered away and investor confidence sinks-are increasingly a thing of the past.”

Moreover, as highlighted in more detail below, McFadden made sense when talking about DOJ “declinations” and his reasons for why the DOJ may not bring a Foreign Corrupt Practices Act enforcement action in an instance of FCPA scrutiny undermines the “declination” definition used by certain FCPA Inc. participants.

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FCPA Flash Podcast – A Conversation With Former DOJ FCPA Chief Joseph Covington

FCPA Flash

The FCPA Flash podcast provides in an audio format the same fresh, candid, and informed commentary about the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act and related topics as readers have come to expect from written posts on FCPA Professor.

This FCPA Flash episode is a conversation with Joseph Covington (Smith Pachter and former head of the DOJ’s de facto FCPA unit in the early 1980’s). The podcast is a must listen for anyone seeking a better understanding of the DOJ’s “early” enforcement of the FCPA. In the episode, Covington also offers a candid assessment of how FCPA enforcement has changed; whether the FCPA has been successful in achieving its objective of reducing bribery; and why he continues (see here for the prior FCPA Professor guest post) to support an FCPA compliance defense.

FCPA Flash is sponsored by Kroll. Kroll is trusted by companies and compliance officers worldwide to help prevent, detect, and remediate FCPA challenges with scalable, end-to-end compliance solutions: from high-volume third party screening and automated monitoring, to risk-based due diligence, to complex investigations and monitorships.

Why Has The DOJ Stopped Civilly Enforcing The FCPA?

questions to ask

The Foreign Corrupt Practices Act specifically authorizes the DOJ to civilly (not just criminally) enforce the statute against non-issuers.

Indeed, between 1991 and 2001 approximately 35% of all DOJ corporate FCPA enforcement actions were civil actions. However, the last time the DOJ invoked this express statutory remedy was in 2001 and the question is posed: why has the DOJ stopped civilly enforcing the FCPA?

Make sure to read to the end of the post to hear the DOJ’s non-responsive answer to this question.

Perhaps instead of creating new ways to enforce the FCPA not even mentioned in the statute (such as non-prosecution agreements, deferred prosecution agreements and most recently declinations with disgorgements) the DOJ should go back to enforcing the FCPA in ways expressly authorized by Congress.

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FCPA Flash Podcast – A Conversation With Jay Darden Regarding DOJ FCPA Enforcement

FCPA Flash

The FCPA Flash podcast provides in an audio format the same fresh, candid, and informed commentary about the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act and related topics as readers have come to expect from written posts on FCPA Professor.

This FCPA Flash episode is a conversation with Jay Darden (Paul Hastings and former Assistant Chief of the DOJ’s Fraud Section). In the episode, Darden discusses what FCPA practitioners need to understand about being a DOJ FCPA attorney and along the same lines what DOJ FCPA enforcement attorneys need to understand about being an FCPA practitioner. Darden also provides a list of things he would change about the FCPA or FCPA enforcement and comments on recent FCPA enforcement actions concerning internship and hiring practices.

FCPA Flash is sponsored by Kroll. Kroll is trusted by companies and compliance officers worldwide to help prevent, detect, and remediate FCPA challenges with scalable, end-to-end compliance solutions: from high-volume third party screening and automated monitoring, to risk-based due diligence, to complex investigations and monitorships.

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