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Friday Roundup

Roundup

Quotable, no reliable way to measure, Microsoft explains, scrutiny alert, a direct selling license in China, and offensive use of the FCPA. It’s all here in the Friday roundup.

Quotable

Some think – or at least I’ve been told – that certain of my Foreign Corrupt Practices Act views are controversial or out of the “main stream” (whatever the “main stream” actually is or means). Yet, I am confident that much of what I write and talk about represents silent majority views.

Indeed, as I’ve commented before, one of the interesting things about writing about the FCPA and related issues on a daily basis is that often I just need to wait for a former FCPA enforcement official to say the same thing. 

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Roundup of FCPA Developments

Roundup

Checking In on Wal-Mart

It’s always a best practice not to believe everything in a newspaper which cites to unnamed sources, but in any event the Wall Street Journal reports:

“Wal-Mart Stores Inc. tried and failed to settle a foreign-bribery probe that has stretched for five years and cost the company more than $820 million, according to people familiar with the federal investigation.

In the final weeks of the Obama administration, the world’s largest retailer and U.S. officials weren’t able to agree on a deal before Donald Trump’s inauguration, people familiar with the matter said. “Wal-Mart and the government are very far apart in terms of a settlement,’’ one of the people said Thursday.”

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Issues To Consider From The AB InBev Enforcement Action

Issues

This previous post went in-depth into the SEC’s Foreign Corrupt Practices Act enforcement action against AB InBev.

This post continues the analysis by highlighting additional issues to consider from the enforcement action.

Timeline

Per the SEC’s order, the SEC began its inquiry in October 2011.

Thus from start to finish, AB InBev’s FCPA scrutiny lasted just shy of five years.

It is absolutely inexcusable on any level for FCPA scrutiny to last five years. If the SEC wants the public to view its FCPA enforcement program as legitimate, credible, and effective, it must resolve instances of FCPA scrutiny much faster.

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Issues To Consider From The Nu Skin Enforcement Action

Issues

This previous post highlighted the SEC’s Foreign Corrupt Practices Act enforcement action against Nu Skin Enterprises.

This post continues the analysis by highlighting additional issues to consider from last week’s enforcement action.

Similar, Yet Different

Before the Nu Skin action, there have been several FCPA enforcement actions that have included, in whole or in part, charitable donations as highlighted in this recent post.

All of the prior enforcement actions though appear to have been involved pre-existing, presumably bona fide charitable organizations that a “foreign official” nevertheless was involved in or was valued by the “foreign official.”

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Issues To Consider From The LAN Airlines Enforcement Action

Issues

This previous post went in-depth regarding the $22 million parallel DOJ and SEC enforcement action against LAN Airlines.

This post continues the analysis of the enforcement action by highlighting additional issues to consider.

Defiant

As noted in connection with the prior SEC enforcement action against Ignacio Cueto Plaza, the conduct at issue is notable for several reasons.

First, the problematic conduct was engaged in by an individual currently with the company. The vast majority of FCPA enforcement actions involve the conduct of former employees.

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