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Spot On Observations Regarding The Telefonica Brasil Enforcement Action

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Previous posts here and here discussed the SEC’s recent Foreign Corrupt Practices Act enforcement action against Telefonica Brasil (focused on the company hosting Brazilian officials at soccer matches in Brazil) as well as the many problematic issues associated with the expansive enforcement action.

The most recent edition of the always informative FCPA Update by Debevoise & Plimpton likewise takes issue which various aspects of the enforcement action. Kara Brockmeyer (the SEC’s former FCPA Unit Chief) is the lead author of the spot on article which states in pertinent part:

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A Brazilian Telecom Company Hosted Brazilian Government Officials For Soccer Tournaments In Brazil – Five Years Later, U.S. Collects $4.1 Million In FCPA Enforcement Action

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It is only fitting that one day after publishing this post regarding the SEC’s inconsistent enforcement of the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (and how the SEC resolved an FCPA books and records and internal controls case for $0 against a U.S. company for engaging in accounting misconduct including the CEO of the company making¬†misrepresentations to the market concerning $307 million) that the SEC brings this $4.1 million administrative action against Telefonica Brasil (a company with ADRs traded on the NYSE).

The conduct at issue?

You better sit down for this … the company “failed to devise and maintain sufficient internal accounting controls over a hospitality program that the company hosted in connection with the 2014 World Cup and 2013 Confederations Cup” both held in Brazil.

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Fresenius Medical Care Pays Approximately $232 Million To Resolve Its Long-Standing FCPA Scrutiny

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German healthcare firm Fresenius Medical Care AG (a company with American Depositary Receipt shares traded on the NYSE) has been under FCPA scrutiny since 2012 (no that is not a typo).

Today the DOJ and SEC announced (here and here) an approximate $232 million enforcement action ($84.7 million to the DOJ and $147 million to the SEC) against the company for alleged bribery schemes involving physicians and other healthcare personnel in Angola, Saudi Arabia, Morocco, Spain, Turkey, Gabon, Benin, Burkina Faso, Senegal, Ivory Coast, Niger, Cameroon China, Serbia, Bosnia, and Mexico.

While not specified in any of the resolution documents, the DOJ’s non-prosecution agreement and SEC’s administrative order make generic reference to the Angola and Saudi Arabia conduct involving ‘agents and employees utiliz[ing] the means and instrumentalities of U.S. interstate commerce, including the use of internet-based email accounts hosted by numerous service providers located in the United States.”

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FCPA Flash Podcast – A Conversation With Joseph Moreno Regarding The Limits Of An FCPA Compliance Program

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The FCPA Flash podcast provides in an audio format the same fresh, candid, and informed commentary about the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act and related topics as readers have come to expect from written posts on FCPA Professor.

This FCPA Flash episode is a conversation with Joseph Moreno (a former federal prosecutor and currently a partner in Cadwalader’s White Collar Defense and Investigations Group). Moreno, along with other Cadwalader attorneys, recently authored this article “When Realities Test the Limits of Your FCPA Program” that caught my eye. During the podcast, Moreno discusses: the origins of the article; how excessive risk aversion regarding corporate hospitality can have negative consequences; what Congressional leaders in the mid-1970’s who led the FCPA movement might think about certain current enforcement theories; and what might happen if certain enforcement theories were actually subjected to judicial scrutiny.

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Stryker Joins The FCPA Repeat Offender Club

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The end of September is traditionally an active period for Foreign Corrupt Practices Act enforcement as the SEC’s fiscal year comes to a close.

On the heels of yesterday’s Petrobras enforcement action (see here and here for prior posts), the SEC announced a $7.8 million enforcement action against medical device company Stryker for not having internal accounting controls “sufficient to detect the risk of improper payments in sales of Stryker products in India, China, and Kuwait” and because “Stryker’s India subsidiary failed to maintain complete and accurate books and records.”

In doing so, Stryker joins the list of FCPA repeat offenders (see here). As highlighted in this prior post, in 2013 Stryker resolved a $13.2 million enforcement action based on alleged conduct in Mexico, Poland, Romania, Argentina, and Greece.

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