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Supreme Court Questions Whether Dollar-Denominated Transactions Or Other Financial Transactions In The U.S. Are Sufficient To Assert Jurisdiction Over Foreign Corporations

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Largely because of how the DOJ and SEC have chosen to enforce the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (that is resolution vehicles not subjected to any meaningful judicial scrutiny), the Supreme Court has never been presented with an opportunity to interpret the FCPA (and likely never will be so long as the current state of affairs continues). Heck, you can count on one hand (and have a few fingers left over) the number of substantive FCPA decisions issued by appellate courts.

Nevertheless, in recent years the Supreme Court has issued several decisions that are FCPA relevant and in every one the court has questioned certain aspects common in FCPA enforcement. The most recent example occurred in an Alien Tort Claims Act case (Jesner v. Arab Bank) in which the majority opinion questioned in dicta whether dollar-denominated transactions or other financial transactions in the U.S. are sufficient to assert jurisdiction over foreign corporations.

Prior to discussing the recent Jesner decision, this post highlights how such allegations are common in FCPA enforcement actions against foreign corporations.

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Issues To Consider From The Keppel Offshore & Marine Enforcement Action

Issues

This previous post went in-depth into the net $105.5 million Foreign Corrupt Practices Act enforcement action against Keppel Offshore & Marine (and a related entity) regarding various bribery schemes in Brazil. This post continues the analysis by highlighting additional issues to consider.

FCPA First

The enforcement action against Keppel Offshore & Marine is believed to be the first FCPA enforcement action ever against a company based in Singapore.

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Keppel Offshore & Marine Resolves Net $105.5 Million FCPA Enforcement Action Based On Brazil Bribery Schemes

Keppel

Do not finalize those 2017 Foreign Corrupt Practices Act statistics just yet. Similar to prior years, late December has become an active time for FCPA enforcement.

Yesterday, the DOJ announced a net $105.5 million enforcement action against Keppel Offshore & Marine Ltd. (a Singapore-based company which describes itself as a “global leader in offshore rig design, construction and repair, ship repair and conversion, and specialised shipbuilding”) and Keppel Offshore & Marine USA Inc. (a wholly-owned subsidiary based in Texas).

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FCPA Flash – A Conversation With Robert Luskin Regarding FCPA Enforcement Actions Against Foreign Companies

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The FCPA Flash podcast provides in an audio format the same fresh, candid, and informed commentary about the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act and related topics as readers have come to expect from written posts on FCPA Professor.

This FCPA Flash episode is a conversation with Robert Luskin (Paul Hastings). Luskin has a wealth of experience representing foreign companies (including Technip, Total, Alstom and SBM Offshore) in FCPA enforcement actions. During the podcast, Luskin: (i) elaborates on his previous comments that foreign corporations in FCPA inquiries have real concerns about “whether U.S. lawyers are really defense lawyers or former prosecutors in a better suit” and how some FCPA practitioners are not willing to be adverse to the DOJ; (ii) discusses legal and policy issues present in FCPA enforcement actions against foreign companies; and (iii) opines whether the FCPA has been successful in achieving its objectives including whether any reform is desirable.

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Issues To Consider From The SBM Offshore Enforcement Action

Issues

This previous post went in-depth into the $238 million DOJ Foreign Corrupt Practices Act enforcement action against Netherlands-based SBM Offshore for alleged bribery schemes in Brazil, Angola, Equatorial Guinea, Kazakhstan and Iraq.

This post continues the analysis by highlighting additional issues to consider.

DOJ Explains Its Original “Declination”

As highlighted in the original post, in 2014 SBM Offshore resolved a $240 million Dutch law enforcement action alleging bribery schemes in Equatorial Guinea, Angola and Brazil between 2007 through 2011. In connection with that action, SBM Offshore disclosed: “the United States Department of Justice has informed SBM Offshore that it is not prosecuting the Company and has closed its inquiry into the matter.”

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