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The Selling Of FCPA Enforcement Officials Needs To Stop!


This is certainly not the first time these pages have addressed this topic and of all the topics periodically discussed on these pages, this topic has received some of the most positive feedback. As an individual on social media commented the other day when I first highlighted the most recent problematic example:  “These are great points and a substantive and optics concern of many.”

For profit companies that host FCPA conferences are entitled to run their business as they see fit. However, when for profit companies use Foreign Corrupt Practices Act officials at the DOJ, SEC, and FBI like commodities that are then marketed and sold to the public, this is where the line needs to be drawn.

It’s a disgraceful practice and it needs to stop. Moreover public officials need to stop allowing themselves to be used as pawns by for profit companies.

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The Political Contributions Of Various FCPA Commentators

Political fund raising / contributions. A skimmer hat full of bundles of $100 bills and a hat on a money bag on a white background

FCPA commentators often write about the importance of transparency.

The question arises, when FCPA commentators write about topics political in nature including statements about specific political actors, should the commentator disclose their political contributions so that readers can better assess the credibility and objectivity of what the commentator is saying?

This post highlights the publicly available political contributions of various FCPA commentators.

For the record, I’ve never made a political contribution in my life.

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At FCPA Sentencing, Judge Goes Off On Various Aspects Of FCPA Enforcement

Judge Garaufis

While Foreign Corrupt Practices Act enforcement is largely devoid of judicial scrutiny, sentencing of individual defendants remains a judicial function and provides a rare (and often overlooked) public glimpse of someone other than the enforcement agencies weighing in on issues relevant to FCPA enforcement.

Sentencing transcripts not only capture advocacy moments seldom publicly seen in FCPA enforcement, but also telling unscripted comments concerning FCPA enforcement.  For instance, while the enforcement agencies and others often portray bribery as a black and white issue, judges sentencing FCPA individual defendants often see shades of gray.

Several examples are highlighted in the book “The FCPA in a New Era” and another noteworthy example concerns recent remarks made by Nicholas Garaufis (Senior District Judge, E.D.N.Y. – nominated to the bench by President Clinton) in sentencing Samuel Mebiame, a Gabonese national connected to Och-Ziff who pleaded guilty to conspiracy to violate the FCPA’s anti-bribery provisions in connection with African mining projects.

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Friday Roundup


Comings and goings, more judicial scrutiny not less is needed, and once again not the media’s finest moment. It’s all here in the Friday roundup.

Comings and Goings

In the past few months, DOJ Deputy Assistant Attorney General Trevor McFadden has seemed to be the primary DOJ spokesperson when it comes to the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (see prior posts here, here and here detailing McFadden’s speeches).

This may soon come to an end as President Trump recently nominated McFadden to the federal bench.

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Where Are Former DOJ/SEC FCPA Unit Chiefs Now?

revolving door

Imagine a foreign country where enforcement of a specific law is vested solely, per enforcement agency policy, in the hands of a few individuals and where these few individuals are in charge of all investigations, prosecutions, and resolutions under the law; where the individuals set and champion policy objectives relevant to the specific law; where the individuals “enforce” the specific law against business organizations largely behind closed doors in the absence of meaningful judicial scrutiny and little case law setting the parameters of the specific law; and where the individuals then leave government service for lucrative jobs in the private sector to provide defense and compliance services to business organizations subject to the enforcement climate they helped create.

Do you have concerns with such a system?

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