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The Need For An FCPA Common Language – Visual Proof

visual proof

These pages have frequently highlighted the need for a Foreign Corrupt Practices Act common language as to the basic question of “what is an FCPA enforcement action?” (See here for the article “A Common Language to Remedy Distorted FCPA Enforcement Statistics” which exposes in detailed fashion distorted FCPA enforcement statistics).

As highlighted in the article, the absence of an FCPA common language has numerous negative effects including infecting nearly all FCPA enforcement statistics.

The most reliable and accurate way to keep FCPA enforcement statistics is by using the “core” approach which focuses on unique instances of FCPA scrutiny. Using this approach, there were 27 corporate FCPA enforcement actions in 2016 that resulted in approximately $2.4 billion in net FCPA settlement amounts (see here).

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A Buffet Of 2016 FCPA Enforcement Statistics


With much rhetoric floating around regarding the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act and with many creative and haphazard counting methods employed by certain FCPA Inc. participants, it is instructive to take a look at actual statistics.

FCPA Professor has been the place to visit this month for in-depth 2016 Foreign Corrupt Practices Act enforcement statistics as well as comparisons to historical statistics.

If you missed the daily posts, no worries.

This post consolidates in one place the statistics recently published on FCPA Professor.

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The “Foreign Officials” Of 2016


A “foreign official.”

Without one, there can be no FCPA anti-bribery violation (civil or criminal).  Who were the alleged “foreign officials” of 2016?

This post highlights the alleged “foreign officials” from 2016 corporate DOJ and SEC FCPA enforcement actions.

There were 27 core corporate enforcement actions in 2016. Of the 27 enforcement actions 21 (78%) involved, in whole or in part, employees of alleged state-owned or state-controlled entities (“SOEs) with 7 of the 21 (26%) actions involving, in whole or in part, individuals associated with foreign health care systems.

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DOJ Individual Actions: The Strange Public – Private Divide


This recent post highlighted certain facts and figures regarding the DOJ’s prosecution of individuals for Foreign Corrupt Practices Act offenses in 2016 and historically.

As highlighted in the prior post, DOJ FCPA individual enforcement actions are significantly skewed by a small handful of enforcement actions and the reality is, despite the DOJ’s rhetoric, 77% of DOJ corporate enforcement actions since 2006 have not (at least yet) resulted in any DOJ charges against company employees.

Another very interesting and significant picture emerges when analyzing DOJ individual FCPA prosecutions based on whether the individual charged was employed by or otherwise associated with a publicly traded corporation or a private business organization.

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A Focus On DOJ Individual Actions

Criminal Law

This recent post focused on SEC individual FCPA actions and this post highlights certain facts and figures concerning the DOJ’s prosecution of individuals for Foreign Corrupt Practices Act offenses in 2016 and historically.

As highlighted numerous times on FCPA Professor over the past several years, the DOJ frequently talks about the importance of individual FCPA prosecutions. During her tenure, Assistant Attorney General Leslie Caldwell (she recently left the DOJ) has stated that “certainly…there has been an increased emphasis on, let’s get some individuals” and that it is “very important for [the DOJ] to hold accountable individuals who engage in criminal misconduct in white-collar (cases), as we do in every other kind of crime.”

During his tenure DOJ FCPA Unit Chief Patrick Stokes (he recently left the DOJ) has said that the DOJ is “very focused” on prosecuting individuals as well as companies and that “going after one or the other is not sufficient for deterrence purposes.”

Against this backdrop, what do the facts actually show?

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