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With Chi Guilty Verdict, Focus Shifts To Kinemetrics And Guralp Systems

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The DOJ recently announced that Heon-Cheol Chi (Chi) of South Korea, “the Director of South Korea’s Earthquake Research Center at the Korea Institute of Geoscience and Mineral Resources (KIGAM) was convicted … following a four-day jury trial of laundering bribes that he received from two seismological companies based in California and England through the U.S. banking system.”

As noted here, according to court documents the companies are Kinemetrics (a California company that designs technologies, products, and solutions for monitoring earthquakes and their effects on people and structures) and Guralp Systems Ltd. (a U.K. company that designs, manufactures and delivers products, services, systems and solutions for a wide range of applications for the seismological research community as well as the the oil & gas, civil engineering and energy sectors.)

With the Chi guilty verdict, focus shifts to Kinemetrics and Guralp Systems and when asked if there would be an FCPA enforcement action against these companies a DOJ spokesperson informed me via e-mail that “the investigation is ongoing.”

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Another Week, Another DOJ Speech As McFadden Talks FCPA And Related Topics In Brazil

mcfadden

Yesterday, Acting Principal Deputy Assistant Attorney General Trevor McFadden delivered this speech in Brazil.

As highlighted in this post, McFadden talked about “some recent developments regarding the DOJ’s international cooperation efforts,” “some of the diverse tools in [the DOJ’s] prosecutorial toolbox that allow [it] to prosecute corruption” and “the importance of transparency in our anti-corruption prosecutions.”

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Firtash Files Motion To Dismiss DOJ FCPA And Related Charges Brought In 2014

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As highlighted in this prior post, in April 2014 the DOJ announced the unsealing of a criminal indictment charging six individuals “with participating in an alleged international racketeering conspiracy involving bribes of state and central government officials in India to allow the mining of titanium minerals.”

Among those charged was Dmitry Firtash, a high-profile Ukrainian businessman.

Prior to the April 2014 unsealed indictment, Firtash was arrested in Austria and thereafter paid $174 million to post bail. Responding to the U.S. criminal charges, as noted in this prior post, Firtash released a video which insisted he is an innocent party caught at the center of a “battlefield for the two biggest global players of Russia and the USA.”

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Second Circuit Hears Oral Argument In U.S. v. Hoskins

Judicial Decision

Judicial scrutiny of Foreign Corrupt Practices Act enforcement is rare. Appellate court judicial scrutiny even more rare. Listening to appellate court oral arguments in an FCPA appeal, let’s just say you can count those instances on one hand and have a couple of fingers left over.

Last week the Second Circuit heard oral argument in U.S. v. Hoskins and you can listen to the arguments here.

The issue before the court, as stated in the DOJ’s brief, is as follows.

“Whether a foreign person (who does not reside in the United States) can be liable for conspiring or aiding and abetting a U.S. company to violate the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act if that individual is not in the categories of principal persons covered in the statute.”

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Issues To Consider From The Rolls-Royce Enforcement Action

Issues

This previous post went in-depth into the $170 million Foreign Corrupt Practices Act enforcement action against U.K. based Rolls-Royce announced on January 17th. This post continues the analysis by highlighting additional issues to consider.

Unusual Aspect of the DPA

The Rolls-Royce DPA contains an unusual feature. Of the approximate $170 criminal penalty “$30 million will be paid to the Consumer Financial Fraud Fund.”

This has never happened before in an FCPA enforcement and set forth below is my e-mail exchange with the DOJ press office on this issue.

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