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SEC Director Of Enforcement Ceresney On …

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Yesterday’s post highlighted comments made by Deputy Attorney General Sally Yates at a recent Foreign Corrupt Practices Act event and this post provides equal time to comments made by SEC Director of Enforcement Andrew Ceresney at the same event.

Similar to the DOJ speech, much of Ceresney’s speech represents the same old, same old something even he acknowledged during his speech.

When reading Ceresney’s comments about the importance of individual FCPA prosecutions keep in mind the following facts. In 2016 there have been 21 SEC corporate FCPA enforcement actions and 15 actions (72%) have not resulted (at least yet) in any related FCPA charges against company employees. This figure is generally consistent with the overall figure since 2008 in which approximately 80% of SEC corporate FCPA enforcement actions have not resulted in any related FCPA charges against company employees.

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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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The Many Ironies Of Mary Jo White’s Tenure At The SEC

Mary Jo White, chair of the Securities and Exchange Commission, testifies to the House Financial Services Committee about the effects of the Volcker Rule on employment in Washington on February 5, 2014.      REUTERS/Joshua Roberts    (UNITED STATES - Tags: POLITICS BUSINESS) - RTX189AM

Earlier this week SEC Chair Mary Jo White announced that she will soon be leaving the SEC.

As the head of the SEC since April 2013, White obviously had a lot on her plate and thus judging her tenure through the lens of the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act and related issues is a bit too narrow.

Nevertheless, as SEC Chair White did frequently speak about the FCPA and related issues and the SEC does maintain an FCPA Unit (one of only five specialized units at the SEC). Thus, judging her tenure with reference to the FCPA is warranted.

In this regard, this post highlights the many ironies of White’s tenure at the SEC. Some of the issues discussed below certainly pre-date White’s tenure at the SEC, yet as Chair the issues continued under White’s leadership.

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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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