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Checking In On Wal-Mart’s FCPA And Compliance-Related Expenses

Wal-Mart

In its recent 4Q FY2017 earnings call presentation Wal-Mart disclosed $17 million in Foreign Corrupt Practices Act and compliance related expenses ($12 million for ongoing investigations and inquiries and $5 million for global compliance program and organizational enhancements). The Q4 expenses of $17 million compare to Q3 expenses of $29 million, Q2 expenses of $28 million and Q1 expenses of $25 million.

Doing the math, Wal-Mart’s 4Q FCPA and compliance-related costs is approximately $275,000 per working day.

Over the past approximate 5 years, I have tracked Wal-Mart’s quarterly disclosed pre-enforcement action professional fees and expenses.

While some pundits have ridiculed me for doing so, it quickly caught on as the popular thing to do.

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Friday Roundup

Roundup

Scrutiny alerts and updates, former Bio-Rad general counsel prevails, and light FCPA sentences. It’s all here in the Friday roundup.

Scrutiny Alerts and Updates

USANA Health Sciences

When putting together a list of companies that are likely to become the subject of FCPA scrutiny, small Utah-based companies that sell healthcare products is surely to be at the bottom of the list.

Yet, Nu Skin Enterprises resolved an FCPA enforcement action in 2016 and Nature’s Sunshine Products resolved an FCPA enforcement action in 2009.

In the latest instance of FCPA scrutiny involving this unique group, USANA Health Sciences Inc., a Utah based nutritional company that manufacturers supplements, personal care and healthy food products, recently disclosed:

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Checking In On Wal-Mart

Wal-Mart

In its recent 3Q FY2017 earnings call presentation Wal-Mart disclosed $29 million in Foreign Corrupt Practices Act and compliance related expenses ($24 million for ongoing investigations and inquiries and $5 million for global compliance program and organizational enhancements). The Q3 expenses of $29 million are slightly higher than the Q2 expenses of $28 million.

Doing the math, Wal-Mart’s 3Q FCPA and compliance-related costs is approximately $465,000 per working day.

Over the past approximate 4.5 years, I have tracked Wal-Mart’s quarterly disclosed pre-enforcement action professional fees and expenses.

While some pundits have ridiculed me for doing so, it quickly caught on as the popular thing to do.

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Must See Video Clips From Assistant AG Caldwell’s Recent FCPA Speech

must see

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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Friday Roundup

Roundup

A public service announcement, Wal-Mart’s pre-enforcement action professional fees and expenses, scrutiny alert, happenings in Bermuda, a fee dispute, quotable, a useful timeline, for the reading stack, and good for a few chuckles. It’s all here in the Friday roundup.

A Public Service Announcement

Section 5 of the Federal Trade Commission Act requires the disclosure of a material connection between an advertiser and an endorser when the relationship isn’t otherwise apparent to consumers. As the FTC has made clear, the law applies to bloggers.

Certain members of the FCPA’s blogosphere (who frequently write about compliance best practices, transparency, conflicts of interest and related topics) may want to take notice and act accordingly.

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