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Motions To Dismiss Fully Briefed In SEC v. Cohen & Baros

Judicial Decision

As highlighted in this prior post, in January 2017 the SEC filed a civil complaint against former Och-Ziff executives Michael Cohen and Vanja Baros alleging the same core conduct as the DOJ and SEC’s September 2016 enforcement action against Och-Ziff.

The prior post noted that the defendants would be mounting a defense and further noted that the SEC is rarely put to its burden of proof in FCPA enforcement actions (corporate or individual). Indeed, the SEC has never prevailed in FCPA history when put to its ultimate burden of proof.

Late last week, the briefing on the motions to dismiss appeared (all at once) on the court’s docket and this post summarizes the disputed issues which largely center on statute of limitations issues and (as relevant to Baros, a foreign national defendant) general jurisdiction issues as well as FCPA specific jurisdiction issues).

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FCPA Flash – A Conversation With Neil Smith (Former Senior Counsel In The SEC’s Enforcement Division) About SEC FCPA Enforcement

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 have come to expect from written posts on FCPA Professor.

This FCPA Flash episode is a conversation with Neil Smith. On July 14th, Smith left the SEC where he served as senior counsel in the Enforcement Division for more than six years and where he was also a member of the SEC’s FCPA Unit. In the podcast, Smith (currently a partner in the Boston office of K&L Gates) discusses SEC remedies in FCPA enforcement actions, the SEC’s theory of enforcement around the FCPA’s internal controls provisions, the impact of the Supreme Court’s recent Kokesh decision on SEC FCPA enforcement, and changes to the FCPA and FCPA enforcement that he would like to see.

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Issues To Consider From The Halliburton Enforcement Action

Issues

This prior post went in-depth into last week’s $29.2 million Foreign Corrupt Practices Act enforcement action against Halliburton and this post continues the analysis by highlighting additional issues to consider.

Timeline

Halliburton disclosed to the DOJ / SEC in December 2010 or perhaps early 2011. Regardless of the precise date, Halliburton’s FCPA scrutiny lasted approximately 6.5 years.

If the SEC wants the public to have confidence in its FCPA enforcement program, it must resolve instances of FCPA scrutiny much quicker. Having FCPA scrutiny linger for 6.5 years is inexcusable particularly since Halliburton, in the words of the SEC, “[cooperated] including making foreign witnesses available, compiling financial data and analysis relating to the transactions at issue, and making substantive presentations on key topics at the staff’s request.”

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Much Ado About…Little?

Wal-Mart

I didn’t come up with the headline, but I did participate in an extensive Q&A about Walmart’s FCPA scrutiny with Metropolitan Corporate Counsel. The Q&A was published in its most recent issue with the headline: “Much Ado About…Little? How a ‘garden variety’ FCPA investigation of Walmart grabbed the spotlight.”

The Q&A is republished below with permission.

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Friday Roundup

Roundup

Quotable, FCPA issues at City Hall, and for the reading stack. It’s all here in the Friday roundup.

Quotable

In this recent post titled “Judicial Scrutiny of Corporate Monitors: Additional Uncertainty for FCPA Settlements?” Debevoise attorneys Andrew Levine, Philip Rohlik and Michael Gramer note:

“Like many other complex corporate criminal matters, FCPA matters largely get resolved without meaningful judicial oversight. […] In complex cases, corporate criminal enforcement can follow the largely consensual process that has evolved in the FCPA arena.  After a long period of investigation, in which a company often cooperates, the company and DOJ negotiate a resolution, based on legal theories and facts largely determined by the DOJ.

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