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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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Flipping The Panasonic Enforcement Action Allegations Into “Best Practices”

flipping

Compliance professionals should develop the skill of flipping enforcement action allegations into “best practices.”

In doing so, recognize that “best practices” are not necessarily legal requirements. The Foreign Corrupt Practices Act sets forth the law (not negotiated DOJ or SEC resolution vehicles not subjected to any meaningful judicial scrutiny) and when it comes to internal controls the law states that issuers shall ” devise and maintain a system of internal accounting controls sufficient to provide reasonable assurances that” certain specified objectives are met.

Nevertheless, compliance professionals need to be cognizant of allegations in enforcement actions for the simple reason that the DOJ and the SEC hold the big sticks and will have certain expectations of companies.

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Panasonic Corp. And Related Entity Resolve $280 Million Avionics Industry FCPA Enforcement Action

panasonic

Yesterday, the DOJ and SEC announced (here and here) a parallel Foreign Corrupt Practices Act enforcement action against Japan-based Panasonic Corp.  and a U.S. subsidiary Panasonic Avionics Corp. (PAC).

As stated in the enforcement action, Panasonic was an issuer until April 2013 and again “for a brief period between 2015 and 2016 as a result of a share swap that retriggered Panasonic’s obligation to file its financial statements with the SEC.”

As highlighted in this post, the enforcement action consisted of:

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