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Next Up For The Second Circuit – An Opportunity To Construe The FCPA’s Corrupt Intent And Obtain And Retain Business Elements

Judicial Decision

Fresh off its recent decision in U.S. v. Hoskins (see here and here for prior posts), the Second Circuit has another Foreign Corrupt Practices Act appeal on its docket.

This July post previewed the FCPA (and related) appeal of Ng Lap Seng who was convicted of two counts of violating the FCPA, one count of paying bribes and gratuities, one count of money laundering and two counts of conspiracy “for his role in a scheme to bribe United Nations ambassadors to obtain support to build a conference center in Macau that would host, among other events, the annual United Nations Global South-South Development Expo.”

Recently Seng formally filed this appellate brief. The FCPA issues on appeal concern the corrupt intent element and the obtain or retain business element. There is an abundance of information in the legislative history regarding these topics, the open question is whether Seng’s lawyers will fully take advantage of it.

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A Preview Of Seng’s Appeal

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Foreign Corrupt Practices Act appeals are not as rare as Halley’s Comet, but nevertheless rare. Thus, when an FCPA appeal occurs and an appellate court is presented with the opportunity to construe the law, almost be definition, it is a big deal.

As highlighted in this prior post, in July 2017 after a long trial a federal jury convicted Ng Lap Seng of two counts of violating the FCPA, one count of paying bribes and gratuities, one count of money laundering and two counts of conspiracy “for his role in a scheme to bribe United Nations ambassadors to obtain support to build a conference center in Macau that would host, among other events, the annual United Nations Global South-South Development Expo.”

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Seng Sentenced

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As highlighted in this prior post, in July 2017 after a long trial a federal jury convicted Ng Lap Seng of two counts of violating the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act, one count of paying bribes and gratuities, one count of money laundering and two counts of conspiracy “for his role in a scheme to bribe United Nations ambassadors to obtain support to build a conference center in Macau that would host, among other events, the annual United Nations Global South-South Development Expo.”

The DOJ announced that Seng was sentenced to 48 months in prison and three years of supervised release. In addition, Seng was ordered to pay a $1 million fine, $302, 977 in restitution to the United Nations and the judge also ordered a forfeiture money judgment of $1.5 million.

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For The First Time In Six Years, The DOJ Prevails In A Contested FCPA Proceeding When Put To Its Ultimate Burden Of Proof

Justice Dept

Last week, for the first time in six years, the DOJ prevailed in a contest FCPA proceeding when put to its burden of proof.

As highlighted in this DOJ release, after a four week trial a federal jury convicted Ng Lap Seng of two counts of violating the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act, one count of paying bribes and gratuities, one count of money laundering and two counts of conspiracy “for his role in a scheme to bribe United Nations ambassadors to obtain support to build a conference center in Macau that would host, among other events, the annual United Nations Global South-South Development Expo.”

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On The Eve Of Trial, Battle Over The FCPA’s “Local Law” Affirmative Defense In U.S. V. Ng Lap Seng

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This previous post highlighted U.S. v. Ng Lap Seng (pictured), a criminal enforcement action involving alleged bribery of United Nations officials that includes FCPA charges. Trial was to begin in late May but was adjourned at the last minute and trial is set to begin today.

As highlighted in this post, on the eve of trial the parties are battling over jury instructions regarding the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act’s “local law” affirmative defense.

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