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Judge Sentences Bahn To 6 Months And Rejects DOJ’s Request For A 70-87 Month Sentence, SEC Brings Related Enforcement Action

Bahn

As highlighted in this previous post, in January 2017 the DOJ announced Foreign Corrupt Practices Act, and related charges, against four individuals for their roles in a scheme to pay $2.5 million in bribes to facilitate the $800 million sale of a commercial building in Vietnam (the so-called Landmark 72 pictured) to a Middle Eastern sovereign wealth fund.

It certainly was not a typical FCPA enforcement action. In fact it was downright strange in that the bribery scheme was unsuccessful and the third party intended to facilitate the bribery scheme simply pocketed the money for himself.

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Friday Roundup

Roundup

Across the pond, sentenced, unremarkable, and nonsense. It’s all here in the Friday roundup.

Across the Pond

As highlighted in this prior post, in July 2016 the U.K. Serious Fraud Office announced:

“The SFO is conducting a criminal investigation into the activities of Unaoil, its officers, its employees and its agents in connection with suspected offences of bribery, corruption and money laundering.”

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Seng Sentenced

Seng2

As highlighted in this prior post, in July 2017 after a long trial a federal jury convicted Ng Lap Seng of two counts of violating the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act, one count of paying bribes and gratuities, one count of money laundering and two counts of conspiracy “for his role in a scheme to bribe United Nations ambassadors to obtain support to build a conference center in Macau that would host, among other events, the annual United Nations Global South-South Development Expo.”

The DOJ announced that Seng was sentenced to 48 months in prison and three years of supervised release. In addition, Seng was ordered to pay a $1 million fine, $302, 977 in restitution to the United Nations and the judge also ordered a forfeiture money judgment of $1.5 million.

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Is This Appropriate?

846-05647896
© ClassicStock / Masterfile
Model Release: Yes
Property Release: No
1960s MAN THINKING HAND PENCIL ON CHIN WEARING EYEGLASSES SERIOUS EXPRESSION

Gibson Dunn is generally viewed as having a top tier Foreign Corrupt Practices Act practice.

The firm’s Year-End FCPA Update is always a quality read including this year’s version.

Yet, highlighted below is a paragraph from the Update that caught my eye and I ask: seriously – is this appropriate?

Early in the 36-page document is the following paragraph:

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From The Dockets

Judicial Decision

As highlighted in this previous post, Misonix has been under FCPA scrutiny since September 2016 and in March 2017 Cicel (Beijing) Science & Technology Co. Ltd. brought a variety of civil claims against Misonix concerning its business relationship with the company.

Among the claims brought by Cicel was a breach of contract claim. Misonix acknowledged that it terminated the contract, but argued that it “was justified in doing so because of Misonix’s FCPA investigation” regarding Cicel. In response, Cicel claimed that the investigation “was a ruse for breaching the contract.” Recently, U.S. District Court Judge Arthur Spatt (E.D.N.Y.) allowed Cicel’s claim to proceed beyond the motion to dismiss stage. (See 2017 WL 4535933).

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