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The DOJ (And U.K. SFO) Are “Shooting Themselves In The Foot”

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Both the Department of Justice and the Serious Fraud Office in the U.K. want companies to voluntarily disclose conduct that implicates the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act and/or Bribery Act. Notwithstanding the DOJ slapping a formal title on its policy goal in April 2016 (i.e. the FCPA Pilot Program), this has long been the articulated policy position on both sides of the Atlantic for nearly a decade.

Why then are the DOJ and SFO shooting themselves in the foot by making decisions that should result in any board member, audit committee member, or general counsel informed of current events not making the decision to voluntarily disclose?

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SEC Enforcement Of The FCPA – 2016 Year In Review

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Foreign Corrupt Practices Act enforcement, it’s not just about the DOJ.

Granted, as a civil enforcement agency the SEC’s sticks are less sharp than the DOJ’s, but the SEC also claims a significant piece of the FCPA enforcement pie (query whether it should – but that is a subject for another day – for instance as discussed in “The Story of the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act” the SEC wanted no part in enforcing the FCPA’s anti-bribery provisions).

This previous post was a 2016 year in review of DOJ FCPA enforcement.

Today’s post is a 2016 year in review of SEC FCPA Enforcement.  (See here for a similar post for 2015; here for a similar post for 2014; here for a similar post for 2013; here for a similar post for 2012; here for a similar post for 2011; and here for a similar post for 2010).

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DOJ Enforcement Of The FCPA – 2016 Year In Review

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This post highlights facts and figures from corporate Foreign Corrupt Practices Act enforcement actions in 2016 by the DOJ. (See here for a similar post from 2015, here for a similar post from 2014, here for a similar post from 2013, here for a similar post from 2012, here for a similar post from 2011, and here from 2010).

Settlement Amounts and Specifics

In 2016, the DOJ brought 13 corporate FCPA enforcement actions (the second-largest number of all-time behind 2010 in which the DOJ brought 17 corporate FCPA enforcement actions).

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The Origins Of 2016 Corporate FCPA Enforcement Actions

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2016 was a record-breaking year for Foreign Corrupt Practices Act enforcement.

Largest number of corporate enforcement actions in FCPA history – check. Largest aggregate corporate settlement amounts in FCPA history – check. These statistics will all be profiled in much greater detail in future posts.

Before an FCPA enforcement action is announced however, FCPA scrutiny must first originate.

This post, the first in a weeks-long FCPA statistical feast on FCPA Professor, highlights the origins of 2016 corporate enforcement action.

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In-Depth – General Cable Resolves $75.8 Million FCPA Enforcement Action, Former Senior VP Also Resolves SEC Action

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Don’t yet close the books on 2016 Foreign Corrupt Practices Act enforcement.

Yesterday, the DOJ and SEC announced (here and here) an FCPA (and related) enforcement action against Kentucky-based General Cable Corporation (a manufacturer and distributor of cable and wire). The conduct at issue occurred in Angola, Bangladesh, Indonesia, Thailand, China, and Egypt.

The $75.8 million enforcement action involved a DOJ non-prosecution agreement in which the company agreed to pay an approximate $20.5 million penalty and an SEC administrative cease and desist order in which the company agreed to pay approximately $55.3 million in disgorgement and prejudgment interest.

In addition, the SEC also announced that Karl Zimmer, General Cable’s former Senior Vice President responsible for sales in Angola, agreed to pay a $20,000 civil penalty without admitting or denying the SEC’s findings that he knowingly circumvented internal accounting controls and caused FCPA violations when he approved certain improper payments.

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