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Friday Roundup

Roundup

Quotable, SEC Annual Report, it’s called the rule of law – deal with it, across the pond, more ISO 37001 puff pieces, monitor related, for your viewing pleasure, and for the reading stack. It’s all here in the Friday roundup.

Quotable

To those still hyperventilating about Foreign Corrupt Practices Act enforcement in the Trump administration (see here and here), perhaps this might calm you down. As reported here by Wall Street Journal Risk & Compliance: “[FCPA Unit Chief Daniel Kahn dismissed the suggestion that President Donald Trump‘s previous criticism of the FCPA has had any effect on the department’s enforcement of the law. Mr. Kahn said he “spanned both administrations,” referring to Mr. Trump’s predecessor, President Barack Obama, adding, “I am continuing to do what I do.”

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A Peek Into The Opaque World Of FCPA Monitorships

opendoor

Previous posts herehere, and here highlighted the DOJ’s efforts (along with Siemens and its monitor) to block public release of the Monitor reports provided to the DOJ in connection with resolution of the still record-setting 2008 Siemens FCPA enforcement action.

From the beginning, I’ve had my own suspicion as to why the DOJ (and other parties) are actively seeking to block release of the Monitor reports and it has nothing to do with the issues discussed in the DOJ’s (and other parties) briefs.

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Issues To Consider From The Telia Enforcement Action

Issues

This previous post went in-depth into the Telia Foreign Corrupt Practices Act enforcement action which contemplates a net $483 million settlement (after accounting for various credits and deductions for contemplated Swedish and Dutch enforcement actions) – the 5th largest net FCPA settlement of all-time.

Set forth below are several additional issues to consider from the enforcement action.

No Books and Records Findings

Off the top of my head, I can recall only one prior instance (BNY Mellon) of an SEC FCPA enforcement action not involving books and records violations or findings. The Telia action is the second instance which is odd given that the SEC found that the “bribe payments were funneled through payments for sham lobbying and consulting services to a front company controlled by the official.”

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Halliburton Joins FCPA Repeat Offender Club As The SEC Also Finds That A Former VP Violated The FCPA

halliburton

In 2009, Halliburton Company, KBR Inc. (a wholly-owned subsidiary of Halliburton during the relevant time period) and Kellogg, Brown & Root, LLC (a wholly-owned subsidiary of KBR) resolved parallel DOJ and SEC Foreign Corrupt Practices Act enforcement actions in connection with a bribery scheme involving a $6 billion liquefied natural gas plant on Bonny Island, Nigeria. (See here and here).

The combined $579 million settlement amount (DOJ – $402 million / SEC $177 million) remains the third largest FCPA settlement of all-time. The SEC’s resolution contained the perfunctory condition of permanently enjoining Halliburton from violating the FCPA’s books and records and internal controls provisions.

However, yesterday Halliburton joined the ever-increasing (see here and here for recent posts) FCPA repeat offender club as the SEC announced an FCPA enforcement action concerning alleged conduct in Angola. Without admitting or denying the SEC’s findings in this administrative order that it violated the FCPA’s books and records and internal controls provisions, Halliburton agreed to pay $29.2 million. In the same order, the SEC also found that Jeannot Lorenz (Halliburton’s former vice president) causing the company’s violations, circumvented internal accounting controls, and falsified books and records. Without admitting or denying the SEC’s findings, Lorenz agreed to pay a $75,000 penalty.

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In-Depth On The Second Circuit’s Recent HSBC Decision

Judicial Decision

This February 2016 post awarded an FCPA Professor Apple Award to then U.S. District Court Judge John Gleeson (E.D.N.Y.) for championing transparency and not acquiescing in secret criminal law enforcement by finding that an HSBC Monitor Report (a condition of a deferred prosecution agreement) was “a judicial record, and that the public has a First Amendment right to see the Report.”

In this recent decision a Second Circuit panel consisting of Judge Katzmann, Judge Pooler and Judge Lynch (the first two President Clinton appointees and the later a President Obama appointee), reversed and held that the “Monitor’s Report is not a judicial document because it is not now relevant to the performance of the judicial function.”

The Second Circuit opinion is troubling / interesting on many levels.

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