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The Other Shoe Drops On TechnipFMC As The SEC Announces A $5 Million Enforcement Action

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The SEC’s fiscal year ends on September 30th. Thus, it is likely that many loose ends are being closed this week and, with history as a guide, there is likely to be more FCPA enforcement actions this week.

Most FCPA enforcement actions against issuers that include a DOJ and SEC component are resolved on the same day. However, as noted in prior posts here and here concerning the DOJ’s net $81.9 million FCPA enforcement action against TechnipFMC in June 2019, the SEC prong of the enforcement action was left open.

This loose end was closed yesterday as the SEC announced an approximate $5 million enforcement action against the company “for violations of the FCPA by FMC Technologies prior to its 2017 merger with Technip S.A.”

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TechnipFMC Joins FCPA Repeat Offender Club, Resolves Net $81.9 Million DOJ FCPA Enforcement Action, SEC Enforcement Action Forthcoming, Individual Criminally Charged

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That’s a dense headline, but there was much at play in this DOJ announcement from earlier this week.

First, Technip joined the ever growing list of FCPA repeat offenders (see here) as the company previously resolved a $340 million FCPA enforcement action in 2010 concerning conduct at Bonny Island, Nigeria. (See here and here for prior posts). For good measure, as highlighted in this prior post, in 2016 FMC Technologies resolved a so-called non-FCPA, FCPA enforcement action.

Second, most FCPA enforcement actions against issuers that include a DOJ and SEC component are resolved on the same day, however this week’s development was DOJ only and this company press release states “TechnipFMC has reached an agreement in principle with the SEC Staff, subject to final SEC approval.”

Third, in connection with the same core conduct alleged in the DOJ enforcement action the DOJ also criminally charged Zwi Skornicki (a citizen of Brazil).

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The $300,000 Bogus Invoice

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[This post is part of a periodic series regarding “old” FCPA enforcement actions]

In 2001, the DOJ filed this criminal information charging Daniel Ray Rothrock (a Vice President of the Cooper Division of Allied Products Corporation with responsibility for international sales) with knowingly and willfully violating the books and records provisions of the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act.

According to the information, Cooper was engaged in the business of manufacturing and selling workover rigs and other oilfield well servicing equipment and one of its customers was RVO Zarubezhneftestroy (Nestro) and entity owned by the Russian government.

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The Case That Just Keeps On Giving – DOJ Announces Additional Charges In PDVSA Bribery Action

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Several prior posts (see hereherehere and here for instance) have highlighted the clustering phenomenon and how a few discreet instances of alleged bribery yield an inordinate amount of Foreign Corrupt Practices Act enforcement activity against individuals.

One such example is the DOJ’s long-standing enforcement action (charges were first brought in late 2015) in connection with alleged corrupt schemes to secure contracts from Venezuela’s state-owned and state-controlled energy company, PDVSA.

Yesterday, the DOJ announced that two additional individuals were criminally charged “for their alleged roles in a scheme to corruptly secure business advantages, including contracts and payment on past due invoices, from Venezuela’s state-owned and state-controlled energy company, Petroleos de Venezuela S.A. (PDVSA).”

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FCPA Flash Podcast – A Conversation With James Noe Regarding FCPA Issues In The Oil And Gas Industry

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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 episode is a conversation with James Noe (special counsel with Jones Walker LLP who previously served in various in-house counsel and executive roles with several oil and gas companies). During the podcast, Noe discusses: the easiest and most difficult aspects of FCPA compliance in the oil and gas industry; the extent of facilitating payments in the industry; whether oil and gas companies are too risk averse when it comes to FCPA issues; and civil actions by industry participants when business is lost because of a refusal to make bribe payments.

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