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DOJ Individual Actions: The Strange Public – Private Divide

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This post highlighted certain facts and figures regarding the DOJ’s prosecution of individuals for Foreign Corrupt Practices Act offenses in 2019 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, approximately 80% of DOJ corporate enforcement actions since 2006 have not (at least yet) resulted in any related DOJ FCPA charges against company employees.

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

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The Origins Of 2019 Corporate Enforcement Actions

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This recent post compared corporate FCPA enforcement actions in 2019 to prior years. However, before a Foreign Corrupt Practices Act enforcement action is announced, scrutiny must first arise.

This post highlights the origins of the 14 core corporate enforcement actions in 2019. (See here for a similar post highlighting the origins of 2018 corporate enforcement actions; here for 2017 corporate enforcement actions and here for 2016 corporate enforcement actions).

As highlighted in the post, like prior years, 2019 corporate enforcement actions originated in a variety of ways from voluntary disclosures, to pro-active government investigations and industry sweeps, to foreign law enforcement investigations and foreign media reporting.

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The Top 50 Corporate FCPA Settlements

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Recently, the FCPA Blog published a list of the “40 biggest Foreign Corrupt Practices Act resolutions of all time.” The list is false and misleading in many respects. For starters, the list contains enforcement actions in which the company was not even charged or found to be in violation of the FCPA’s provisions. Second, it contains inaccurate and inconsistently applied math. Third, it contains amounts that the DOJ and SEC (the only government agencies on planet earth that actually enforce the FCPA) did not even secure.

If you value accurate FCPA enforcement information, set forth below is a list of the top 50 corporate FCPA settlement amounts actually secured by the DOJ/SEC.

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In Terms Of Settlement Amounts, 2019 FCPA Enforcement Has Set An All-Time Record

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The previous Foreign Corrupt Practices Act record in terms of settlement amounts was 2016 in which the DOJ and SEC collected approximately $2.4 billion (see here).

With last week’s record-setting $1.06 billion enforcement action against Ericsson (see here), 2019 has eclipsed 2016. With approximately three weeks left in 2019 (keep in mind the end of the calendar year has historically been an active period for FCPA enforcement), the DOJ and SEC have collected approximately $2.65 billion in settlement amounts in 14 core corporate actions this year.

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The Top Ten List Of Corporate FCPA Settlements

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Everybody, it seems, likes “Top Ten” lists.

This post highlights the top ten corporate FCPA settlements of all-time.

It seems odd saying this, but the list (unlike other lists) only includes enforcement actions where the corporate defendant was charged with or found to be in violation of the FCPA’s provisions (not other laws). In addition, the list highlights net FCPA settlement amounts actually secured by U.S. law enforcement after consistently accounting for (unlike other lists) certain credits or deductions in several enforcement actions involving foreign companies.

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