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Friday Roundup

Roundup

Apparently not, scrutiny updates, silly offensive use, and not credible. It’s all here in the Friday roundup.

Apparently Not

This May 2017 post asked whether Sinovac might become the first Chinese issuer to resolve an FCPA enforcement action after the SEC began an inquiry regarding certain bribery and corruption issues in China.

Apparently not as the company recently announced:

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Friday Roundup

Roundup

Scrutiny alerts and updates, just plain silly, #precisionmatters, and for the reading stack. It’s all here in the Friday roundup.

Scrutiny Alerts and Updates

Societe Generale

As highlighted in this 2014 post, Societe Generale, among other companies, has been under FCPA scrutiny regarding its dealings with Libya’s government-run investment fund. The French financial services company recently disclosed:

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Is This Appropriate?

846-05647896
© ClassicStock / Masterfile
Model Release: Yes
Property Release: No
1960s MAN THINKING HAND PENCIL ON CHIN WEARING EYEGLASSES SERIOUS EXPRESSION

Gibson Dunn is generally viewed as having a top tier Foreign Corrupt Practices Act practice.

The firm’s Year-End FCPA Update is always a quality read including this year’s version.

Yet, highlighted below is a paragraph from the Update that caught my eye and I ask: seriously – is this appropriate?

Early in the 36-page document is the following paragraph:

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Plaintiffs Allege Harm At The Hands Of Terrorist Group Funded In Part By Corrupt Sales Practices Of Various Multinational Companies

Mahdi Army

Various courts have held that the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act does not confer a private right of action. However, as highlighted in “FCPA Ripples” and several other posts on this website, private plaintiffs with increasing frequency are using allegations of corruption to allege other substantive causes of action in what amounts to “offensive use” of the FCPA and related topics.

Recently, American service members and civilians and their families who were killed or wounded while serving in Iraq filed this 203 page civil complaint against AstraZeneca, General Electric, Johnson & Johnson, Pfizer and Roche claiming that the companies’ alleged acts of corruption in Iraq present viable civil claims under the federal Anti-Terrorism Act and for intentional infliction of emotional distress. Specifically, the plaintiffs allege that they or their family members were attacked by a terrorist group (Jaysh al-Mahdi) funded in part by the defendants’ corrupt sales practices.

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From The Dockets

Judicial Decision

As highlighted in this previous post, Misonix has been under FCPA scrutiny since September 2016 and in March 2017 Cicel (Beijing) Science & Technology Co. Ltd. brought a variety of civil claims against Misonix concerning its business relationship with the company.

Among the claims brought by Cicel was a breach of contract claim. Misonix acknowledged that it terminated the contract, but argued that it “was justified in doing so because of Misonix’s FCPA investigation” regarding Cicel. In response, Cicel claimed that the investigation “was a ruse for breaching the contract.” Recently, U.S. District Court Judge Arthur Spatt (E.D.N.Y.) allowed Cicel’s claim to proceed beyond the motion to dismiss stage. (See 2017 WL 4535933).

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