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Issues To Consider From The TechnipFMC Enforcement Action

Issues

This previous post went in-depth into the net $81.9 million DOJ FCPA enforcement action against TechnipFMC and how the company joined the FCPA repeat offender list. This post continues the analysis by highlighting additional issues to consider.

Statute of Limitations

Pardon me for being “that guy” but the bulk of the conduct at issue in the enforcement action (both the Technip USA information and plea involving alleged conduct in Brazil and the TechnipFMC  information and DPA involving alleged conduct in Iraq) took place between 2003 and 2010 (in other words approximately 10 – 15 years prior to the enforcement action).

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TechnipFMC Joins FCPA Repeat Offender Club, Resolves Net $81.9 Million DOJ FCPA Enforcement Action, SEC Enforcement Action Forthcoming, Individual Criminally Charged

technipfmc

That’s a dense headline, but there was much at play in this DOJ announcement from earlier this week.

First, Technip joined the ever growing list of FCPA repeat offenders (see here) as the company previously resolved a $340 million FCPA enforcement action in 2010 concerning conduct at Bonny Island, Nigeria. (See here and here for prior posts). For good measure, as highlighted in this prior post, in 2016 FMC Technologies resolved a so-called non-FCPA, FCPA enforcement action.

Second, most FCPA enforcement actions against issuers that include a DOJ and SEC component are resolved on the same day, however this week’s development was DOJ only and this company press release states “TechnipFMC has reached an agreement in principle with the SEC Staff, subject to final SEC approval.”

Third, in connection with the same core conduct alleged in the DOJ enforcement action the DOJ also criminally charged Zwi Skornicki (a citizen of Brazil).

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SEC Finds That Former Panasonic Executive Authorized Conduct Causing Company’s FCPA Violations, Another Former Executive Found To Engage In Improper Revenue Recognition Practices

Margis

As highlighted in prior posts (here, here and here) in April 2018 the DOJ and SEC announced a $280 million Foreign Corrupt Practices Act enforcement action against Japan-based Panasonic Corp.  and a U.S. subsidiary Panasonic Avionics Corp. (PAC).

In the words of the government “between 2007 and 2013, PAC employees, including senior executives, engaged in a scheme to retain consultants for improper purposes other than for providing actual consulting services.”

Earlier this week, the SEC returned to the same core conduct to bring administrative actions (here and here) against Paul Margis (pictured – a former President and CEO of PAC) and Takeshi Uonaga (PAC’s former CFO). The Margis action finds that he authorized various conduct giving rise to the company’s FCPA liability, whereas the Uonaga matter is materially different in that it is a revenue recognition matter.

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FCPA Flash: A Conversation With Former DOJ FCPA Prosecutor Bruce Searby Regarding Internship And Hiring Enforcement Actions

Podcast Logo

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 Bruce Searby (Searby LLP). Prior to forming this firm, Searby was an enforcement attorney in the DOJ’s FCPA Unit. During the podcast, Searby expands upon points made in his recent article titled “FCPA Liability for Hiring Practices Gain New Credence” including how this enforcement theory is “expansive,” how “no FCPA hiring case has been tested in court,” how in certain of the enforcement actions there are hints that the “government may struggle to establish all the elements required for an anti-bribery violation of the FCPA,” and how “building cases against individuals may be particularly challenging.”

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Friday Roundup

Roundup

Impasse, quotable, scrutiny alerts, um excuse me but, and for the reading stack. It’s all here in the Friday roundup.

Impasse

Walmart’s FCPA scrutiny began in late 2011. Yet, nearly seven years later there still has not been an enforcement action.

Bloomberg reports: “Walmart Inc. set aside nearly $300 million last fall for a possible resolution with the U.S. government over international bribery allegations, a sign that an end to the years-long investigation was imminent. But eight months later, the sides are deadlocked, three people familiar with the matter said. It’s not about the money: One source of tension is prosecutors’ insistence that Walmart, the world’s largest retailer, admit to certain misconduct as part of any deal, one of the people said.”

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