News Corp. In the News
Approximately two years ago to the date, News Corp.’s potential FCPA scrutiny dominated the news cycle. (See here for the prior post).
In recent days, News Corp. has again made the news as a recording of Rupert Murdoch surfaced in which he allegedly stated as follows concerning payments to U.K. public officials to obtain information. “That situation existed at every newspaper in Fleet Street. Long since forgotten. But absolutely. It was the culture of Fleet Street. We’re talking about payments for news tips from cops. That’s been going on a hundred years, absolutely.”
The disclosure prompted U.K. members of Parliament to demand that News Corp. be charged with Foreign Corrupt Practices Act violations. (See here for a letter from Tom Watson MP to Senator John D. Rockefeller).
In a statement, News Corp. stated as follows. “Mr. Murdoch never knew of payments made by Sun staff to police before News Corp. disclosed that to U.K. authorities. Furthermore, he never said he knew of payments. It’s absolutely false to suggest otherwise.”
BSG Resources Related
This previous post highlighted the April arrest of French citizen Frederic Cillins who was criminally charged by the DOJ for allegedly attempting to obstruct an ongoing FCPA investigation into whether a mining company paid bribes to win lucrative mining rights in the Republic of Guinea. Cillins has been linked to Guernsey-based BSG Resources Ltd.
This recent article in the New Yorker by Patrick Radden Keefe goes in-depth as to the mining rights at issue, the political environment in Guinea, Cillins, and Beny Steinmetz (the wealthy Israeli for whom BSG Resources is named). As noted in the article, and also noted in this recent article in Main Justice, BSG Resources and Cillins are claiming that several documents at the center of the bribery probe are fake.
As noted in this recent Wall Street Journal Risk & Compliance Journal post, Cillins was denied bail as he awaits trial. As noted in this Law360 article, U.S. District Judge William H. Pauley reversed a magistrate judge’s decision to allow Frederic Cilins to be released on $15 million bail and stated as follows. “The court finds that Mr. Cilins is a serious risk of flight and there are no conditions that will ensure his appearance in court.”
According to PwC’s 3rd annual State of Compliance Survey, the top three risks identified by chief compliance officers are: data privacy and confidentiality; industry specific regulations; and bribery/corruption.