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SEC Director Of Enforcement Ceresney On …

Ceresney

Yesterday’s post highlighted comments made by Deputy Attorney General Sally Yates at a recent Foreign Corrupt Practices Act event and this post provides equal time to comments made by SEC Director of Enforcement Andrew Ceresney at the same event.

Similar to the DOJ speech, much of Ceresney’s speech represents the same old, same old something even he acknowledged during his speech.

When reading Ceresney’s comments about the importance of individual FCPA prosecutions keep in mind the following facts. In 2016 there have been 21 SEC corporate FCPA enforcement actions and 15 actions (72%) have not resulted (at least yet) in any related FCPA charges against company employees. This figure is generally consistent with the overall figure since 2008 in which approximately 80% of SEC corporate FCPA enforcement actions have not resulted in any related FCPA charges against company employees.

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The Many Ironies Of Mary Jo White’s Tenure At The SEC

Mary Jo White, chair of the Securities and Exchange Commission, testifies to the House Financial Services Committee about the effects of the Volcker Rule on employment in Washington on February 5, 2014.      REUTERS/Joshua Roberts    (UNITED STATES - Tags: POLITICS BUSINESS) - RTX189AM

Earlier this week SEC Chair Mary Jo White announced that she will soon be leaving the SEC.

As the head of the SEC since April 2013, White obviously had a lot on her plate and thus judging her tenure through the lens of the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act and related issues is a bit too narrow.

Nevertheless, as SEC Chair White did frequently speak about the FCPA and related issues and the SEC does maintain an FCPA Unit (one of only five specialized units at the SEC). Thus, judging her tenure with reference to the FCPA is warranted.

In this regard, this post highlights the many ironies of White’s tenure at the SEC. Some of the issues discussed below certainly pre-date White’s tenure at the SEC, yet as Chair the issues continued under White’s leadership.

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Friday Roundup

Roundup

Predictable, scrutiny alert, in the words of Attorney General Lynch, bankrupt, DOJ guidance, and for the reading stack. It’s all here in the Friday roundup.

Predictable

It’s as predictable as the sun rising in the east.

A former FCPA enforcement official criticizes certain aspects of FCPA enforcement. As noted in this Law360 article, former DOJ Assistant Attorney General of the Criminal Division Lanny Breuer (who took a great interest in FCPA enforcement while in that position – see here for the article “Lanny Breuer and FCPA Enforcement”) recently observed as follows regarding the DOJ’s FCPA Pilot Program.

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Company Under FCPA Scrutiny, Resolves Separate FCPA Enforcement Action

FMC

The above headline may be a bit confusing, but it is instructive as to the basic point that the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act has always been a law much broader than its name suggests because of its books and records and internal controls provisions.

These provisions, applicable to issuers, are among the most generic substantive legal provisions one can find and the fact is most FCPA enforcement actions (using that term in the most technical sense) do not even involve foreign bribery.

Case in point is yesterday’s  SEC enforcement action finding that FMC Technologies violated the FCPA’s books and records and internal controls provisions when it overstated profits in one of its business segments.

The name of this company might ring a bell because earlier this year FMC Technologies disclosed FCPA scrutiny of the more traditional type.

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Friday Roundup

Roundup

A focus on the numbers, scrutiny alerts and updates, legal extortion?, and who said shareholder meetings are dull. It’s all here in the Friday roundup.

A Focus on the Numbers

Earlier this week, the SEC announced its FY2016 enforcement results and how it filed 868 enforcement actions, a “new single year high for SEC enforcement actions.” As noted in this Wall Street Journal article, this “marks the third year in a row the 82-year old agency has filed the most cases in its history.”

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