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The Many Issues To Consider From The Dun & Bradstreet Enforcement Action

Issues

Some people simply read FCPA enforcement actions, accept the enforcement theories advanced, record the enforcement statistics, and go about their day.

Not here at FCPA Professor. Just because the FCPA is a fundamentally sound statute, does not mean that FCPA enforcement is necessarily fundamentally sound.

Prior posts here and here went in-depth into the SEC’s $9.2 million Foreign Corrupt Practices Act enforcement action against Dun & Bradstreet based on the conduct of two indirect Chinese subsidiaries from 6 – 12 years ago.

This post continues the analysis by highlighting the many troubling or notable issues to consider from the enforcement action.

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Roundup Of Scrutiny Alerts And Updates

scrutiny alert

Add some to the list, take a few off, future settlement, continuing to seemingly “boil the ocean,” and monitor costs.

This time of year is heavy on annual reports and other corporate disclosures and this post rounds up various scrutiny alerts and updates.

Albemarle Corp.

The North Carolina based chemical company recently disclosed:

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Checking In On Wal-Mart’s Pre-Enforcement Action Professional Fees And Compliance Enhancements

Wal-Mart

In yesterday’s 4Q FY2018 earnings call presentation WalMart disclosed $7 million in Foreign Corrupt Practices Act and compliance related expenses ($4 million for ongoing investigations and inquiries and $3 million for global compliance program and organizational enhancements).

The Q4 expenses of $7 million compare to the following recent quarterly expenses: Q3 FY2018 $5 million, Q2 FY2018 $12 million, Q1 FY2018 $16 million; Q4 FY2017 $17 million; Q3  FY2017 $29 million; Q2 FY 2017 $28 million, and Q1 FY2017 $25 million).

Doing the math, Wal-Mart’s 4Q FY2018 FCPA and compliance-related costs is approximately $113,000 per working day.

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Friday Roundup

Roundup

DOJ’s year in review, ripple, scrutiny alerts and updates, simply false, and amusing. It’s all here in the Friday roundup.

DOJ’s Year In Review

The DOJ Fraud Section recently released its year in review. According to the document, “the FCPA Unit has 32 prosecutors.” When reviewing the statistics in the document keep in mind that the FCPA Unit “investigates and prosecutes cases under the FCPA and related statutes.” In other words, the statistics include non-FCPA matters such as when the DOJ charges or prosecutes alleged “foreign officials” for money laundering and related offenses.

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Checking In On Wal-Mart

Wal-Mart

In today’s 3Q FY2018 earnings call presentation and related transcript, Wal-Mart disclosed that “discussions with the government agencies in the FCPA matter have progressed to the point that the company recorded an accrual of $283 million, or $0.09 per share … regarding the possible resolution of the FCPA matter.”

Against the backdrop of certain commentators using the “b” word (as in billions), I predicted from the start, guided by FCPAnalytics, that Wal-Mart’s Foreign Corrupt Practices Act enforcement action was unlikely to be a top five FCPA settlement amount of all-time. If the $283 million amount holds, the Wal-Mart enforcement action will not even be in the top ten FCPA settlements of all-time.

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