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SEC Director Of Enforcement Ceresney On …

Ceresney

Yesterday’s post highlighted comments made by Deputy Attorney General Sally Yates at a recent Foreign Corrupt Practices Act event and this post provides equal time to comments made by SEC Director of Enforcement Andrew Ceresney at the same event.

Similar to the DOJ speech, much of Ceresney’s speech represents the same old, same old something even he acknowledged during his speech.

When reading Ceresney’s comments about the importance of individual FCPA prosecutions keep in mind the following facts. In 2016 there have been 21 SEC corporate FCPA enforcement actions and 15 actions (72%) have not resulted (at least yet) in any related FCPA charges against company employees. This figure is generally consistent with the overall figure since 2008 in which approximately 80% of SEC corporate FCPA enforcement actions have not resulted in any related FCPA charges against company employees.

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In Depth Into The JP Morgan FCPA Enforcement Action

JPMorgan

Yesterday, the DOJ and SEC announced (here and here) a $202.6 million FCPA enforcement action against J.P. Morgan (and a related entity) based on its alleged improper hiring and internship practices that the U.S. government has labeled bribery and corruption.

While the enforcement action was expected to focus on alleged improper hiring and internship practices involving so-called Chinese “princelings” (family members of alleged Chinese foreign officials), a meaningful component of the DOJ’s enforcement action involves hiring and internship practices involving family members of private individuals. Specifically, the DOJ’s non-prosecution agreement highlights 5 examples of “Quid Pro Quo Hiring” and 2 examples (40%) concern private companies: “a private Chinese manufacturing company” and a “Taiwanese private financial holding company.”

Numerous ironies, contradictions, and rule of law concerns abound in the enforcement action that will be explored in more detail in future posts. (In this clip, I talk to National Public Radio about one).

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Company Under FCPA Scrutiny, Resolves Separate FCPA Enforcement Action

FMC

The above headline may be a bit confusing, but it is instructive as to the basic point that the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act has always been a law much broader than its name suggests because of its books and records and internal controls provisions.

These provisions, applicable to issuers, are among the most generic substantive legal provisions one can find and the fact is most FCPA enforcement actions (using that term in the most technical sense) do not even involve foreign bribery.

Case in point is yesterday’s  SEC enforcement action finding that FMC Technologies violated the FCPA’s books and records and internal controls provisions when it overstated profits in one of its business segments.

The name of this company might ring a bell because earlier this year FMC Technologies disclosed FCPA scrutiny of the more traditional type.

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FCPA Flash – A Conversation With Mark Srere About FCPA Reform And The Best Positive Incentives

FCPA Flash

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 expect from the written posts on FCPA Professor.

This FCPA Flash episode is a conversation with Mark Srere (Bryan Cave). In the episode, Srere articulates why the current FCPA enforcement environment does not offer business organizations the best positive incentives and he offers an FCPA reform proposal that he believes would. In addition, Srere critiques the hindsight driven nature of certain FCPA enforcement actions as it relates to the internal controls provisions.

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Issues To Consider From The Och-Ziff Enforcement Action

Issues

Previous posts here and here went in-depth into the recent Foreign Corrupt Practices Act enforcement action against Och-Ziff, Daniel Och and Joel Frank.

This post continues the analysis by highlighting additional issues to consider. As highlighted below, embedded in the approximately 175 pages of resolution documents were several notable issues.

Time Line

According to Och-Ziff’s prior disclosures “beginning in 2011, and from time to time thereafter, we have received subpoenas from the SEC and requests for information from the U.S. Department of Justice (the “DOJ”) in connection with an investigation involving the FCPA and related laws.”

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