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DOJ Individual Actions: The Strange Public – Private Divide

public-private2

This recent post highlighted certain facts and figures regarding the DOJ’s prosecution of individuals for Foreign Corrupt Practices Act offenses in 2018 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, approximately 80% 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

jail

This recent post focused on SEC individual FCPA actions in 2018 and historically and this post highlights certain facts and figures concerning the DOJ’s prosecution of individuals for Foreign Corrupt Practices Act violations in 2018 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 2018, DOJ officials stated: “focusing on individual wrongdoers is an important aspect of the Department’s FCPA program” and as follows:

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Friday Roundup

Roundup

Interesting, from the DOJ’s perspective, pay them more, sanctioned, scrutiny update, exit, and for the reading stack. It’s all here in the Friday roundup.

Interesting

As highlighted here, in December 2016 Odebrecht S.A. (a Brazilian holding company) and Braskem S.A. (a Brazil-based petrochemical company in which Odebrecht owns a majority of voting shares) resolved a large FCPA and related enforcement action largely concerning conduct in Brazil including the companies relationships with Petrobras as well as allegations of improper payments in Angola, Argentina, Brazil, Colombia, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, Guatemala, Mexico, Mozambique, Panama, Peru, and Venezuela.

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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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Back To The 1980’s

80s

The 1980’s saw Foreign Corrupt Practices Act enforcement activity (see here for a summary of actions) as well as legislative developments as the FCPA – after several years of consideration – was finally amended in 1988.

Beyond these developments, there was also much FCPA media coverage on a range of topics and this post excerpts certain articles found in the Wall Street Journal during the 1980s.

Among other things, this media coverage demonstrates that there was angst regarding the ambiguous FCPA and that several companies were the subject of FCPA scrutiny without ultimately resolving an enforcement action. In the modern era, some have wrongly used the term “declination” to refer to such an event, but such events have occurred throughout FCPA history as the government routinely did not bring “flimsy,” “implausible” or “unproven” (terms used in the media coverage) enforcement actions.

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