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Acting Assistant Attorney General Blanco Delivers FCPA Speech

Blaco

Today, Acting Assistant Attorney General Kenneth Blanco delivered these remarks at a Foreign Corrupt Practices Act / OECD Convention Anniversary Conference held at NYU School of Law. This post excerpts portions of Blanco’s remarks.

But first a few comments.

In his speech, Blanco states that it “is astonishing to think about what the FCPA and OECD Anti-Bribery Convention have achieved in a relatively short period of time.” That of course depends on what the word “achieve” means. On one level, has the FCPA really “achieved” (after 40 years – not exactly a “relatively short time period”) its objective of reducing bribery given that there are more enforcement actions, not fewer, as the FCPA has matured?

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Deputy AG Rosenstein – “We Should Never Use The Threat Of Federal Enforcement Unfairly To Extract Settlements”

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Yet another speech by Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein to pass along (see here and here for other recent speeches).

Yesterday, Rosenstein deliver this morning keynote address at the U.S. Chamber Institute for Legal Reform. Among other things, Rosenstein stated: “Corporate enforcement and settlement demands must always have a sound basis in the evidence and the law. We should never use the threat of federal enforcement unfairly to extract settlements.”

Was this merely an unobjectionable forward-looking statement or perhaps a subtle criticism of the Obama administration during which certain people felt that the DOJ often did just that? For instance, see here for a prior post highlighting former Deputy AG David Ogden’s speech criticizing the DOJ’s leverage-based enforcement approach as well as this FCPA Flash podcast episode during which Ogden further elaborates on the issues.

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FCPA Flash – A Conversation With Claudius Sokenu

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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 Claudius Sokenu. Sokenu is among a small number of individuals who has experienced the FCPA from three different vantage points. First, Sokenu was Senior Counsel at the SEC’s Enforcement Division where he worked on FCPA matters. Second, Sokenu was a partner at various leading law firms where his practiced focused on the FCPA. Currently, Sokenu is Deputy General Counsel, Global Head of Litigation, Global Head of Compliance, and Global Head of Legal-Supply Chain at Andeavor (a Texas-based refining, marketing and logistics company).

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Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein On …

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Recently DOJ Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein delivered this speech in which he stated: “The Department’s rhetoric gets a lot of attention – the policy memos and speeches.  But performance is what matters most.”

I completely agree and that is why, over the years, FCPA Professor has profiled over 165 FCPA enforcement agency speeches and otherwise analyzed whether reality is consistent with rhetoric.

Thus, when Rosenstein states in his speech (as DOJ officials have for years) that its “resolve [is] to hold individuals accountable for corporate wrongdoing,” I say performance is what matters most and the last 20 DOJ corporate FCPA enforcement actions have lacked related criminal charges against company employees (and going back to 2008 approximately 80% of DOJ corporate FCPA enforcement actions have lacked related criminal charges against company employees) (see here).

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On The Intersection Of Antitrust Enforcement And Corruption

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Recently Roger Alford (Deputy Assistant Attorney General of the DOJ’s Antitrust Division – who until recently was a law professor at Notre Dame) delivered this speech regarding the intersection of antitrust enforcement and corruption.

Prior to highlighting the speech, this post further explores the intersection by: documenting how Congress – in enacting the FCPA – considered whether the antitrust laws adequately captured the so-called foreign corporate payments at issue; and highlighting FCPA enforcement actions which also included antitrust charges.

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