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FCPA Flash – A Conversation With James Copland Regarding NPAs and DPAs

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 podcast is a conversation with James Copland (senior fellow at the Manhattan Institute and director of Legal Policy). Copland has written extensively about the increased use of non-prosecution and deferred prosecution agreements including this recent report titled “The Shadow Regulatory State at the Crossroads: Federal Deferred Prosecution Agreements Face an Uncertain Future.” During the podcast, Copland discusses: why the increased use of NPAs and DPAs is concerning; whether the DOJ (and SEC) should abolish use of NPAs and DPAs; and whether business organizations (and their tendency to be excessively risk averse) are partly to blame for the current state of affairs.

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Friday Roundup

Roundup

Guilty plea, scrutiny alerts, and for the reading stack. It’s all here in the Friday roundup.

Guilty Plea

As highlighted in this prior post, in July 2011 the DOJ criminally charged Amadeus Richers (a former director of Cinergy Telecommunications with one count of conspiracy to violate the FCPA and to commit wire fraud, six counts of FCPA violations, one count of conspiracy to commit money laundering and 19 counts of money laundering) in the sprawling Haiti Teleco enforcement action.

Although Richers was indicted, he remained a fugitive until his arrest and ultimately his extradition from Panama on February 23, 2017.

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FCPA Flash Podcast – A Conversation With Richard Grime (Former Assistant Director of SEC Enforcement) Regarding 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 podcast episode is a conversation with Richard Grime (Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher and former Assistant Director of SEC Enforcement) and is a must listen if you want to hear informed and candid commentary about the current FCPA enforcement landscape from someone who used to enforce the FCPA.

During the podcast, Grime discusses: (i) reasons for the general increase in FCPA enforcement (among the reasons he mentions is “the government has realized this is a money-winner”; (ii) whether FCPA enforcement, including the internal control’s provisions, has been pushed beyond the breaking point (in Grime’s words yes it has and “almost any conduct becomes subject to an enforcement vehicle”); and (iii) whether long, drawn-out FCPA investigations can be avoided.

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In-Depth – General Cable Resolves $75.8 Million FCPA Enforcement Action, Former Senior VP Also Resolves SEC Action

generalcable

Don’t yet close the books on 2016 Foreign Corrupt Practices Act enforcement.

Yesterday, the DOJ and SEC announced (here and here) an FCPA (and related) enforcement action against Kentucky-based General Cable Corporation (a manufacturer and distributor of cable and wire). The conduct at issue occurred in Angola, Bangladesh, Indonesia, Thailand, China, and Egypt.

The $75.8 million enforcement action involved a DOJ non-prosecution agreement in which the company agreed to pay an approximate $20.5 million penalty and an SEC administrative cease and desist order in which the company agreed to pay approximately $55.3 million in disgorgement and prejudgment interest.

In addition, the SEC also announced that Karl Zimmer, General Cable’s former Senior Vice President responsible for sales in Angola, agreed to pay a $20,000 civil penalty without admitting or denying the SEC’s findings that he knowingly circumvented internal accounting controls and caused FCPA violations when he approved certain improper payments.

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Attorney General Nominee Jeff Sessions – “I was taught if they violated a law, you charge them. If they didn’t violate the law, you don’t charge them.”

sessions

Non-prosecution agreements and deferred prosecution agreements have distorted many areas of law, perhaps none more than the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act.

As highlighted in the article “Measuring the Impact of NPAs and DPAs on FCPA Enforcement,” since introduced to the FCPA context in 2004, alternative resolution vehicles have become the dominant way the DOJ resolves corporate FCPA scrutiny and serve as an obvious reason for the general increase in FCPA enforcement over the past decade. To the many cheerleaders of increased FCPA enforcement, NPAs and DPAs are thus worthy of applause.

Yet in a legal system based on the rule of law, quality of enforcement is more important than quantity of enforcement. Through empirical data and various case studies, the above article measures the impact NPAs and DPAs have on the quality of FCPA enforcement and concludes that NPAs and DPAs — while resulting in higher quantity of FCPA enforcement — result in lower quality of FCPA enforcement.

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