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DOJ Criminally Charges Gabonese National Connected To Och-Ziff With FCPA Conspiracy In Connection With African Mining Projects

Mining

Och-Ziff, a publicly-traded hedge fund that has been under Foreign Corrupt Practices Act scrutiny since 2011 for its business dealings in Africa, recently disclosed that it is in discussions with the DOJ and SEC regarding resolution of the matter. As noted in this recent post, Och-Ziff has reserved over $400 million in anticipation of the resolution. (For the latest on this expected resolution see here).

In the meantime, a criminal complaint was recently unsealed charging Samuel Mebiame, a Gabonese national connected to Och-Ziff, with conspiracy to violate the FCPA’s anti-bribery provisions.

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Danish Subsidiary Exposes Analogic To $14.9 Million Enforcement Action

analogic

Yesterday the DOJ and SEC announced (see here and here) a parallel Foreign Corrupt Practices Act enforcement action against medical device manufacturer Analogic Corp. and BK Medical ApS (Analogic’s Danish subsidiary) in which the entities agreed to pay approximately $14.9 million.

The conduct at issue involved alleged improper payments by BK Medical, primarily in Russia through distributors, and the government alleged that BK Medical took various steps to conceal its conduct from Analogic.

The enforcement action involved a DOJ non-prosecution agreement with BK Medical in which the company agreed to pay a $3.4 million criminal penalty and an SEC administrative order against Analogic in which the company agreed to pay approximately $11.5 million in disgorgement and prejudgment interest. In connection with the same administrative order, the SEC also announced that “Lars Frost, BK Medical’s former Chief Financial Officer, agreed to pay a $20,000 civil penalty to settle charges that he knowingly circumvented the internal controls in place at BK Medical and falsified its books and records.

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FCPA Flash – A Conversation With Paul Calli

Podcast Logo

The new FCPA Professor contains a new feature – the FCPA Flash podcast.

The goal of FCPA Flash is to provide, 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 the written posts on FCPA Professor.

This FCPA Flash episode is a conversation with Paul Calli.

Calli has done something few FCPA practitioners have done, and that is on behalf of a client, put the DOJ to its burden of proof in an FCPA case. Like other such instances of defense counsel doing just that, Calli prevailed on behalf of his client and in the podcast Calli discusses the DOJ’s rather dismal FCPA trial court record and what it says about the DOJ’s modern FCPA enforcement program and how the DOJ measures success.

FCPA Flash is sponsored by the Red Flag Group. The Red Flag Group assists companies in developing and maintaining efficient and effective corporate governance and compliance programs, and has a proven track record in providing integrity due diligence investigations in 194 countries.

It’s NOT True That The FCPA Enforcement Agencies Are Focusing More On Individuals

Not True

In recent public statements, DOJ and SEC officials have stated that they are focusing more on individual FCPA enforcement actions.

For instance, in this recent Financial Times article about DOJ FCPA enforcement, Assistant Attorney General Leslie Caldwell stated “we’re really focusing on individuals.” (Interestingly and as an aside, in the same article Caldwell stated:  “In more than half of all countries it’s very difficult to do business without being faced with the potential of a FCPA violation . . . we recognize it’s a significant problem.”).

Likewise, in this recent interview DOJ Fraud Section Chief Andrew Weissmann, in explaining some of the reasons for the slowdown in corporate FCPA enforcement actions in 2015 stated that “part of the answer is that we are prosecuting more individuals.”

Over at the SEC, Andrew Ceresney (Director of the SEC’s Enforcement Division) recently stated that the SEC’s general focus on individual prosecutions “also applies to FCPA cases.”

The notion that the FCPA enforcement agencies are focusing more on individual enforcement is certainly part of the current narrative and many in the FCPA’s echo chamber are falling for this narrative hook, line and sinker.

However, it’s NOT true that the FCPA enforcement agencies are focusing more on individual enforcement. Indeed, the following number demonstrate the opposite.

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Just When You Think You’ve Seen It All – Along Comes The Nordion (Canada) Inc. Enforcement Action

kidding me

There have been several Foreign Corrupt Practices Act enforcement actions in the past 30 days or so.

But, just when you think you’ve seen it all in FCPA enforcement-land, along comes the Nordion (Canada) Inc. enforcement action announced yesterday by the SEC.

The basic findings, as set forth in this administrative order, were as follows.

Approximately 16 years ago, Mikhail Gourevitch (a dual Canadian and Israeli citizen who was fired years ago by Nordion) represented to the company that “his purported childhood friend from Russia” could help the company’s business in Russia.

Gourevitch and this eventual agent “conspired to use a portion of the funds Nordion paid the Agent to bribe Russian government officials to obtain approval for TheraSphere” a liver cancer therapy.

Gourevitch also received kickbacks from the Agent and otherwise “hid the scheme from Nordion” through, among other things, misrepresentations to his employer. In the words of the SEC, through his conduct Gourevitch “secretly enrich[ed] himself” and received “at least $100,000 for his role in the arrangement which was not disclosed to Nordion.”

In August 2014, Nordion was acquired by Nordion (Canada) Inc., a privately held company. The SEC’s order finds that Nordion (not the actual Respondent in the action Nordion (Canada) Inc.) violated the FCPA’s books and records and internal controls provisions and Nordion (Canada) Inc. agreed, without admitting or denying the SEC’s findings, agreed to pay $375,000.

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