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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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Acting Assistant AG Blanco On Foreign Law Enforcement Cooperation

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Acting Assistant Attorney General Kenneth Blanco recently delivered this speech which focused largely on foreign law enforcement cooperation in bribery investigations. The bulk of the speech concerned U.S. – Brazil cooperation with portions also dedicated to the DOJ’s Kleptocracy Asset Recovery Initiative.

In his speech, Blanco used much of the same rhetoric as prior DOJ officials have in talking about bribery and corruption and once again the notion that the U.S. will “push[] forward hard against corruption, wherever it is” is subject to interpretation.

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

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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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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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