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Friday Roundup

Roundup

Selective SEC release, scrutiny alert, from the docket, for the reading stack, for your viewing pleasure, and a survey. It’s all here in the Friday roundup.

Selective SEC Release

Since it was filed in December 2011, this site has closely followed the SEC’s long-standing Foreign Corrupt Practices Act enforcement action against former Magyar Telekom executives Elek Straub (former Chairman and CEO); Andras Balogh (former Director of Central Strategic Organization); and Tamas Morvai (former Director of Business Development and Acquisitions) with various FCPA and related offenses. (See here for the prior post).

The complaint alleged, in connection with a bribery scheme in Macedonia and Montenegro, that the individuals violated or aided and abetted violations of the FCPA’s anti-bribery, books and records, and internal controls provisions; knowingly circumvented internal controls and falsified books and records; and made false statements to the company’s auditor.

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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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Friday Roundup

Roundup

Another McFadden speech and scrutiny alerts and updates. It’s all here in the Friday roundup.

Another McFadden Speech

Obviously Acting Principal Deputy Assistant Attorney General Trevor McFadden has many job duties, but it sure seems like giving FCPA speeches is at the top of this list. This prior post highlighted McFadden’s February 16th FCPA speech and this prior post highlighted McFadden’s April 18th FCPA speech.

Yesterday, McFadden delivered yet another FCPA speech at a conference run by a for profit company. As highlighted in numerous prior posts, it is truly a disgraceful practice when for-profit companies use high-ranking DOJ officials to drive attendance to their paid events and it is likewise disgraceful that DOJ officials allow themselves to be used in this way.

In any event, McFadden’s speech was basically the same as his speech earlier this week (although a meaningful component of yesterday’s speech was devoted to other topics such as violent crime).

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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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Friday Roundup

Roundup

Clayton responds, from the dockets, Bitkower to FCPA Inc., and a student writing competition. It’s all here in the Friday roundup.

Clayton Responds

This previous post highlighted the FCPA portion of the recent confirmation hearing of SEC Chair nominee Jay Clayton. In follow-up written questions, Senator Sherrod Brown (D-OH) asked: “The Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA) forbids U.S. companies and their subsidiaries from paying foreign government officials to obtain or retain business. What is your specific plan for enforcement of the FCPA.”

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