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United Technologies Corp. Resolves $13.9 Million Enforcement Action

UTC

Yesterday, the SEC announced that United Technologies Corporation resolved a $13.9 million Foreign Corrupt Practices Act enforcement action.

The conduct at issue concerned Otis Elevator Co. (a wholly-owned subsidiary of UTC), Pratt & Whitney (an operating division of UTC), and International Aero Engines (a joint venture of five aerospace companies including Pratt & Whitney) regarding a Russian and Azerbaijani improper payment scheme, a China aviation scheme, improper payments for Otis Elevator sales in China, and leisure travel for foreign officials from several countries including China, Kuwait, South Korea, Pakistan, Thailand, and Indonesia.

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With Survey Results Like These, Can We Truly Say That The FCPA Has Been Successful?

shrug

In this the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act’s 40th year, it is appropriate to ask the salient question of whether the FCPA has been successful.

Granted, politicians are known for making aspirational statements, nevertheless during the FCPA’s enactment Congressional leaders stated – among other things – “the legislation before the committee … would end corporate bribery” and “the goal [of the FCPA] is the elimination of foreign bribery.”

Yet, recent survey results seriously call into question whether the FCPA has been successful in achieving its objectives.

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Beam Pours $8.2 Million Into The Treasury And Becomes The Latest Alcoholic Beverage Company To Resolve An FCPA Enforcement Action Based On India Conduct

Beam

First it was alcoholic beverage company Diageo based on conduct in India and elsewhere (see here).

Then it was alcoholic beverage company ABInBev based on conduct in India (see here).

Yesterday, the SEC announced yet another Foreign Corrupt Practices Act enforcement action against an alcoholic beverage company for conduct in India.

This time it was Beam Inc. (now known as Beam Suntory Inc.) which up until April 2014 had shares traded on the New York Stock Exchange until Suntory Holdings Limited (a Japanese company) acquired Beam which thereafter delisted from the NYSE.

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Legg Mason Also Ponies Up $64 Million To Resolve FCPA Enforcement Action Concerning Conduct In Libya That Occurred 9-14 Years Ago By “Only Two Mid-To-Lower Level Employees Of A Subsidiary”

LG

A few hours after the DOJ announced a net $293 million Foreign Corrupt Practices Act enforcement action against Société Générale S.A concerning conduct in Libya that occurred 9-14 years ago (see here for the prior post), the DOJ also announced that investment management firm Legg Mason also agreed to pony up $64 million to resolve a related enforcement action.

Pursuant to a three-year NPA, Legg Mason agreed to pay $64 million based on the conduct of “only two mid-to-lower level employees of a subsidiary of the company” (specifically Permal Group Ltd.). According to the DOJ: “Permal’s financial statements were consolidated into Legg Mason’s financial statements and they participated in a net revenue sharing arrangement, and all employees of Permal were subject to Legg Mason’s code of conduct.”

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Friday Roundup

Roundup

Scrutiny alert, novice FCPA commentary matters, additional charges, survey says, across the pond, and for the reading stack. It’s all here in the Friday roundup.

Scrutiny Alert

Some companies disclose Foreign Corrupt Practices Act very early and then update the disclosure for years. Other companies have different disclosure practices. Global asset management firm Legg Mason Inc. (a company that has not previously disclosed FCPA scrutiny) recently disclosed:

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