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Briefing In Coburn / Schwartz Matter Reflects The Human Costs Of Being Charged With FCPA Offenses

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As highlighted in this prior post, in connection with the February 2019 Foreign Corrupt Practices Act enforcement action against Cognizant Technology Solutions, the DOJ and SEC also brought related FCPA charges against Gordon Coburn (former President of the company) and Steven Schwartz (former Executive Vice President, Chief Legal and Corporate Affairs Officer).

In this recent filing, the DOJ is seeking to intervene in the SEC case and seeks a stay in that matter, including as to discovery, “in order to preserve the integrity of the prosecution of the Criminal Case, advance the public interest, and prevent the defendants from circumventing the narrow confines of criminal discovery through broad civil requests and related litigation.”

As highlighted below, Coburn and Schwartz’s briefs opposing the stay highlight what life is like upon being criminally and civilly charged for FCPA violations.

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Former Cognizant Technology Solutions Executives Criminally And Civilly Charged In Connection With Indian Planning Permit – Company Resolves $25 Million SEC Enforcement Action

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In this 2016 post highlighting Cognizant Technology Solutions’s disclosure of Foreign Corrupt Practices Act scrutiny it was also noted that Gordon Coburn resigned from his position as President of Cognizant Technology Solutions. This follow-up post noted that the two disclosures were likely related.

Sure enough as today the DOJ announced that Coburn and Steven Schwartz (Executive Vice President, Chief Legal and Corporate Affairs Officer) were criminally charged with FCPA violations. If the defendants choose to put the DOJ/SEC to its burden of proof, disputed issues will likely focus on corrupt intent, obtain or retain business and the facilitating payments exception.

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