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Fresh Off Its 2016 FCPA Enforcement Action, SAP Is Again Under FCPA Scrutiny

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As highlighted in this previous post, in February 2016 SAP (a German company with American Depository Shares registered with the SEC) resolved an FCPA enforcement action based on conduct in Panama. Without admitting or denying the SEC’s finding’s in an administrative order the company agreed to pay approximately $3.9 million and the SEC ordered the company to cease and desist from committing or causing any violations and any future violations of the FCPA’s books and records and internal controls case.

Fresh off this 2016 FCPA enforcement action, SAP is again under FCPA scrutiny.

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Corporate FCPA Repeat Offenders

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As highlighted in this post, twelve companies have resolved FCPA enforcement actions – not once – but twice. Thus far in 2017 there have been three FCPA repeat offenders.

Note: this post uses the term repeat offender to mean a business organization that has resolved more than one FCPA enforcement action regardless of which agency (the DOJ or SEC) brought the enforcement action; regardless of the form of the enforcement action (plea agreement, NPA, administrative order, etc.) and regardless of the charges or findings (anti-bribery provisions vs. books and records and internal controls provisions).

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Halliburton Joins FCPA Repeat Offender Club As The SEC Also Finds That A Former VP Violated The FCPA

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In 2009, Halliburton Company, KBR Inc. (a wholly-owned subsidiary of Halliburton during the relevant time period) and Kellogg, Brown & Root, LLC (a wholly-owned subsidiary of KBR) resolved parallel DOJ and SEC Foreign Corrupt Practices Act enforcement actions in connection with a bribery scheme involving a $6 billion liquefied natural gas plant on Bonny Island, Nigeria. (See here and here).

The combined $579 million settlement amount (DOJ – $402 million / SEC $177 million) remains the third largest FCPA settlement of all-time. The SEC’s resolution contained the perfunctory condition of permanently enjoining Halliburton from violating the FCPA’s books and records and internal controls provisions.

However, yesterday Halliburton joined the ever-increasing (see here and here for recent posts) FCPA repeat offender club as the SEC announced an FCPA enforcement action concerning alleged conduct in Angola. Without admitting or denying the SEC’s findings in this administrative order that it violated the FCPA’s books and records and internal controls provisions, Halliburton agreed to pay $29.2 million. In the same order, the SEC also found that Jeannot Lorenz (Halliburton’s former vice president) causing the company’s violations, circumvented internal accounting controls, and falsified books and records. Without admitting or denying the SEC’s findings, Lorenz agreed to pay a $75,000 penalty.

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The First Time Baker Hughes Resolved An FCPA Enforcement Action

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

As highlighted in this prior post, in 2001 KPMG Siddharta Siddharta & Harsono (KPMG-SSH) and Sonny Harsono resolved a joint DOJ/SEC civil FCPA enforcement regarding alleged improper payments in connection with an Indonesia tax assessment.

As detailed in the prior post, it was a unique FCPA enforcement action at the time (believed to be the first time the DOJ/SEC had ever brought an FCPA action against a professional services firm – i.e. a law firm or accounting firm) and still remains unique in that the DOJ/SEC are believed to have never again brought an FCPA enforcement action against a professional services firm. As further detailed in the prior post, KPMG-SSH was an agent of Baker Hughes and thus it was not surprising that a related FCPA enforcement action against Baker Hughes soon followed.

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Will ABB Become a THREE-Time FCPA Violator?

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As highlighted in recent posts here and here, there are several companies in the FCPA repeat offender club.

ABB (a Swiss-based power and automation technology company) may become a three-time FCPA violator.

First, some relevant background.

The first time ABB resolved a Foreign Corrupt Practices Act enforcement action was in 2004 concerning conduct in Nigeria, Angola and Kazakhstan. The $16.4 million enforcement action involved an SEC component ($5.9 million) and a DOJ component ($10.6 million).

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