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FCPA Flash – A Conversation With Neil Smith (Former Senior Counsel In The SEC’s Enforcement Division) About SEC 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 Neil Smith. On July 14th, Smith left the SEC where he served as senior counsel in the Enforcement Division for more than six years and where he was also a member of the SEC’s FCPA Unit. In the podcast, Smith (currently a partner in the Boston office of K&L Gates) discusses SEC remedies in FCPA enforcement actions, the SEC’s theory of enforcement around the FCPA’s internal controls provisions, the impact of the Supreme Court’s recent Kokesh decision on SEC FCPA enforcement, and changes to the FCPA and FCPA enforcement that he would like to see.

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Mulling Over Moser’s Recent FCPA Remarks

people thinking

Recently Sandra Moser (Principal Deputy Chief, Fraud Section, DOJ) delivered these remarks (provided to me by the DOJ) at an event titled “Global Forum on Anti-Corruption in High Risk Markets.”

This post provides commentary on the remarks ranging from how best to incentivize compliance, the U.S. “piling” on foreign law enforcement actions, individual accountability, DOJ transparency in resolving FCPA enforcement actions, and the DOJ’s FCPA Pilot Program.

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In-Depth On The Second Circuit’s Recent HSBC Decision

Judicial Decision

This February 2016 post awarded an FCPA Professor Apple Award to then U.S. District Court Judge John Gleeson (E.D.N.Y.) for championing transparency and not acquiescing in secret criminal law enforcement by finding that an HSBC Monitor Report (a condition of a deferred prosecution agreement) was “a judicial record, and that the public has a First Amendment right to see the Report.”

In this recent decision a Second Circuit panel consisting of Judge Katzmann, Judge Pooler and Judge Lynch (the first two President Clinton appointees and the later a President Obama appointee), reversed and held that the “Monitor’s Report is not a judicial document because it is not now relevant to the performance of the judicial function.”

The Second Circuit opinion is troubling / interesting on many levels.

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Another Week, Another DOJ Speech As McFadden Talks FCPA And Related Topics In Brazil

mcfadden

Yesterday, Acting Principal Deputy Assistant Attorney General Trevor McFadden delivered this speech in Brazil.

As highlighted in this post, McFadden talked about “some recent developments regarding the DOJ’s international cooperation efforts,” “some of the diverse tools in [the DOJ’s] prosecutorial toolbox that allow [it] to prosecute corruption” and “the importance of transparency in our anti-corruption prosecutions.”

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DOJ’s McFadden And Sessions Nicely Articulate The Policy Rationale For An FCPA Compliance Defense

great job

As highlighted in the article “Revisiting a Foreign Corrupt Practices Act Compliance Defense” the value and efficacy of an FCPA compliance defense is not just limited to more just and fair results when it comes to “hard enforcement” of the FCPA by the DOJ and SEC.

More importantly, an FCPA compliance defense will also increase “soft enforcement” of the FCPA. Soft enforcement generally refers to a law’s ability to facilitate self-policing and compliance to a greater degree than can be accomplished through “hard” enforcement alone.

Stated differently, the goal of the FCPA is to prevent bribery of foreign officials and that goal is best accomplished not solely through ad hoc “hard” enforcement actions, but by also better incentivizing corporate compliance designed to prevent improper conduct. Numerous prior posts (here, here, herehere, here, here, here, here, here, here, here) have highlighted this dynamic including how the DOJ has long recognized the importance of “soft enforcement” of the FCPA.

In recent speeches, DOJ Deputy Attorney General Trevor McFadden (as well as Attorney General Jeff Sessions) nicely articulated the policy rationale for an FCPA compliance defense. However, actions speak louder than words and the DOJ (and SEC) have continually failed to support the best positive incentivize to maximize “soft” enforcement of the FCPA.

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