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Citgo Employees As Foreign Officials

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In this 2009 post, the issue was raised whether the DOJ’s “foreign official” interpretation would become so broad that employees of Citgo Petroleum (a Delaware corporation with headquarters in Houston) would be considered “foreign officials” under the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act because Citgo is a subsidiary of Petroleos de Venezuela S.A. (PDVSA).

In this little noticed FCPA enforcement from February 2020 against Tulio Anibal Farias-Perez in the sprawling PDVSA related actions, the DOJ did allege this theory of prosecution.

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In A Case That Keeps On Giving, The DOJ Announces Unsealing Of 2015 Indictment Against Former Alstom And Marubeni Executives

Alstom

In mid-2013, the DOJ announced that various current and former of Alstom resolved a Foreign Corrupt Practices Act enforcement action in connection with the Tarahan power project in Indonesia. The underlying charging documents were from 2012. (See here). Thereafter, in 2013 additional individuals associated with Alstom were also charged (see here and here) including Lawrence Hoskins who was found guilty at trial in 2019. (See here).

In early-2014, Marubeni (a consortium partner of Alstom on the Tarahan project) resolved an FCPA enforcement action. (See here and here). In late 2014, Alstom resolved an FCPA enforcement action regarding alleged conduct around the world including in Indonesia in connection Tarahan power contract. (See here and here).

Yesterday, the DOJ announced the unsealing of this 2015 indictment charging Reza Moenaf (the former president of Alstom’s subsidiary in Indonesia), Eko Sulianto (the former director of sales of Alstom’s subsidiary in Indonesia) and Junji Kusunoki (the former deputy general manager of Marubeni’s Overseas Power Project Department) with conspiracy to violate the FCPA and conspiracy to commit money laundering in connection with the same core allegations found in the previous enforcement actions.

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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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A Focus On DOJ Individual Actions

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This recent post focused on SEC individual FCPA actions in 2019 and historically. Today’s post highlights certain facts and figures concerning the DOJ’s prosecution of individuals for Foreign Corrupt Practices Act violations in 2019 and historically.

The key word above is FCPA violations.

Some in the FCPA space include enforcement actions containing non-FCPA charges (often money laundering charges against alleged “foreign officials”) related to an FCPA enforcement action as an individual FCPA enforcement action. While it is fine to track such enforcement actions, calling them FCPA enforcement actions is factually false.

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A Focus On SEC Individual Actions

SEC

This previous post highlighted various facts and figures from 2019 SEC FCPA enforcement actions against issuers.

As highlighted in the prior post, of the 13 corporate SEC FCPA enforcement actions in 2019, 2 (15%) have involved, at present, related SEC FCPA charges or findings against company employees.

In 2019, the SEC charged or found that six individuals violated the FCPA: Gordon Coburn and Steven Schwartz and Sridhar Thiruvengadam (all associated with Cognizant); Nancy Gougarty (associated with Westport Fuels); Yanliang Li (associated with Herbalife); and Tim Leisnner (associated with Goldman Sachs).

The remainder of this post focuses on SEC FCPA individual actions historically.

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