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Friday Roundup

Distributor due diligence, a double dose of say what, news from the World Bank, and an FCPA-related sentence reduced.  It’s all here in the Friday roundup.

Distributor Due Diligence

David Simon and Alex Kramer (Foley & Lardner – here and here) recently authored “Here’s How U.S. Companies Can Practically Manage FCPA Risks That Come With Global Distribution Networks” in Bloomberg BNA, Prevention of Corporate Liability, Current Report.

The authors note as follows.  “While in some areas of the law selling a product to a distributor may insulate a company from liability, the same cannot be said for the FCPA. When a distributor purchases a product, title technically shifts, but if the distributor is seen as acting as a representative of the company whose goods it sells in foreign countries, and that distributor engages in bribery of foreign officials, FCPA liability may very well attach to the company. Consequently, companies need to be careful when working with distributors to ensure they do not engage in corrupt conduct that may wind up costing a company millions in fines and penalties and investigation and defense costs.”

The article next states as follows.  “Many companies employ vast distributor networks, sometimes including hundreds, if not thousands, of distributors around the world. Many distributors are more like customers than agents; they merely purchase a product and resell it to others, often in conjunction with other products purchased from other manufacturers. Is it really practical and necessary to conduct full FCPA due diligence on every one of those distributors? Do the U.S. companies in these situations even have the leverage to insist on FCPA representations and warranties in the written agreements, to demand audit rights, and to require certifications by and training of these distributors? The question thus arises whether U.S. companies are faced with a difficult choice either to accept substantial FCPA risk or to devote disproportionate resources to running an FCPA compliance program that fully vets all distributors. We think the answer to this question is ‘‘no’’ and that there is a practical way to minimize the FCPA risk associated with a global distributor network without devoting an unreasonable and disproportionate amount of resources to compliance.”

The practical way?

The authors suggest as follows.  “We recommend that companies following a risk-based approach take this risk analysis a step further and focus on the nature of their relationships with their distributors. The goal should be to determine which distributors are the most likely to qualify as agents, for whose acts the company can be held responsible. Think about this as a continuum of risk. On the low-risk end are distributors that are nothing more than resellers with little actual affiliation with the supplier company. On the high-risk end are distributors who are very closely tied to the supplier company, who effectively represent the company in the market and end up looking more like a quasisubsidiary than a customer. […]  Once a company segregates the high-risk distributors that likely qualify as agents and potentially subject the company to FCPA liability from those that are mere resellers and pose little FCPA risk, FCPA compliance procedures can be tailored appropriately. For those distributors that qualify as ‘‘agents’’ and also pose FCPA risk, full FCPA due diligence, certifications, training, and contract language are imperative. For those that do not, more limited compliance measures that reflect the risk adjusted potential liability are perfectly appropriate.”

Say What?  (1)

A recent op-ed in the Minneapolis Star-Tribune (here) was titled “Good Companies Don’t Bribe. Period.”

Say what?

To be sure, certain Foreign Corrupt Practices Act enforcement actions are based on allegations that executive management or the board was involved in or condoned the improper conduct at issue.  For this type of FCPA enforcement action, the title of the article is indeed spot-on.   However, this type of FCPA enforcement action is not typical.  As noted in this prior post, there are several companies that I call the “World’s Most Ethical FCPA Violators.”  These are companies who have earned designation as one of the “World’s Most Ethical Companies” by Ethisphere yet still, during the same general time period, have resolved an FCPA enforcement action or are otherwise the subject of FCPA scrutiny.  Companies on this list include:  General Electric, Statoil, Deere & Company, Hewlett-Packard, Rockwell Automation, AstraZeneca, Novo Nordisk, and Sempra Energy.  For more, see this article from Corporate Crime Reporter titled “World’s Most Ethical Companies and the FCPA.”  See also this prior post discussing W.W. Grainger’s recent FCPA disclosure and noting that the company is consistently ranked as one of the “world’s most admired companies” by Forbes.

Say What? (2)

This recent post on the FCPA Blog states as follows.  “There’s a reason why you don’t see many of the biggest U.S.-based government contractors on the FCPA top ten list […]. Not that they didn’t struggle with compliance during the early years of enforcement, but they moved quickly to update their compliance and ethics programs once they saw the tide of FCPA enforcement turning. Then they moved on.”

Say what?

Here is the list of the largest contractors in the government market based on an analysis of government procurement data during fiscal 2010.  Seven of the companies in the top twenty-one have, in the past few years, resolved FCPA (or related) enforcement actions or are otherwise the subject of FCPA scrutiny:  Raytheon, H-P, KBR, Dyncorp, ITT Corp., IBM, and BAE.

The “U.S.-based” and “FCPA top ten list” qualifiers were apparently chosen carefully in the FCPA Blog post.

World Bank News

Earlier this week, the World Bank announced (here) publication “for the first time a set of decisions issued by the World Bank Group’s Sanctions boards in cases of alleged fraud and corruption.”  World Bank Managing Director Sri Mulyani Indrawati stated as follows.  “The World Bank Group takes a hard line against corruption, and we believe that greater transparency must be part of that effort. By publishing Sanctions Board decisions, we are making all parties involved in the sanctions process more accountable. This move should deepen the deterrent effect of debarments and enhance the educational value of the Sanctions Board’s findings.”

The Sanctions Board decisions can be found here.

Antoine’s FCPA-Related Sentence Reduced

This recent post provided a Haiti Teleco roundup.  As noted in the prior post, the Haiti Teleco case (minus the manufactured and now former Africa Sting case) is the largest in FCPA history in terms of defendants charged – 13.  Among the group of defendants were three “foreign officials” charged with non-FCPA offenses including Robert Antoine, the former director of international affairs at Haiti Teleco who pleaded guilty in March 2010 to conspiracy to commit money laundering.  In June 2010, he was sentenced to 48 months in prison.

As Samuel Rubenfeld (Wall Street Journal Corruption Currents) noted in this recent post, Antoine, “who testified twice at trial on behalf of prosecutors in foreign bribery cases had [his] four-year prison sentence reduced to 18 months, and he will soon be out of prison.”

*****

A good weekend to all.

Friday Roundup

The Chamber and others weigh in on the DOJ’s promised FCPA guidance, a re-run worth watching, the DOJ dismisses its FCPA case against defunct Cinergy Telecommunications, this week’s FCPA disclosure, a World Bank debarment, and reflecting on this “new era” of FCPA enforcement.  It’s all here in a souped-up version of the Friday roundup.

Guidance

The conventional wisdom is that when the DOJ announced in November 2011 (see here for the prior post) that it would be issuing FCPA guidance in 2012, that this stalled introduction of an FCPA reform bill.  The current conversation thus seems to be focused on DOJ’s promised guidance.

This prior post highlighted how Senator Charles Grassley is curious about DOJ’s guidance and this prior post highlighted how Senators Amy Klobuchar and Chris Coons are as well.

Earlier this week, the Chamber of Commerce (and approximately 30 other trade associations or councils ranging from the American Gaming Association, the Financial Services Roundtable, the Poultry Federation, and the West Virginia Bankers Association) sent a letter (here) to Assistant Attorney General Lanny Breuer and SEC Director of Enforcement Robert Khuzami titled “Guidance Concerning the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act.”

The letter begins as follows.  “On behalf of the more than three million businesses and organizations whose interests we represent, we the undersigned organizations, write to request that this guidance address several issues and questions of significant concern to businesses seeking in good faith to comply with the FCPA. Detailed, authoritative guidance on these matters will enhance companies’ compliance with the FCPA by clarifying the “rules of the road” and by mitigating the significant interpretive challenges that companies face when applying the text of the statute to complex real-world circumstances.”

Topics addressed in the letter include:  “definitions of ‘foreign official’ and ‘instrumentality'”; “consideration of compliance programs in enforcement decisions”; “parent-subsidiary liability”; “successor liability”; “de minimis gifts and hospitality”; “mens rea standard for corporate criminal liability”; and “declination issues.”

In this previous post regarding the DOJ’s promised guidance I commented that while a welcome development, DOJ’s promise of FCPA guidance in 2012 will not cure many of the issues that are being debated in good faith during this new era of FCPA enforcement.  Furthermore, I expect DOJ’s guidance to be little more than a compilation in one document of information that is already in the public  domain for those who know where to look.  The Chamber letter similarly states as follows concerning compliance programs.  “If the forthcoming guidance on this issue consists merely of a recitation in summary form of specific corporate compliance programs that have been adopted pursuant to deferred prosecution agreements, non-prosecution agreements or SEC settlements, the marginal utility of such guidance to the cause of FCPA compliance in the business community will be limited.”

Whenever released and whatever it says, the DOJ’s guidance will be merely that – guidance.  What the FCPA needs is not guidance, but limited structural reforms  (such as a compliance defense) as well as a change in DOJ policy (such as  elimination of non-prosecution and deferred prosecution agreements).

A Re-Run Worth Watching

If you missed “The FCPA Compliance: Yes Or No” debate between Howard Sklar and I earlier this week on Securities Docket, here is the audio replay (approximately 70 minutes) along with the presentation slides.  At the end of the presentation participants were asked to vote “yes” or “no” and the vote tally was 68% “yes” 32% “no.”  Many thanks to Bruce Carton at Securities Docket for hosting.

Cinergy Telecommunications

In July 2011, Cinergy Telecommunications was added to the Haiti Teleco enforcement action (see here for the prior post).  In a superceding indictment, the privately-held telecommunications company incorporated in Florida was charged
with one count of conspiracy to violate the FCPA and to commit wire fraud, six counts of FCPA violations, one count of conspiracy to commit money laundering and 19 counts of money laundering.  In addition, Washington Vasconez Cruz (the president of Cinergy) was also charged as was Amadeus Richers (a former director of Cinergy).  As noted in this January post by Samuel Rubenfeld (Wall Street Journal Corruption Currents) in a second superceding indictment Cecilia Zurita (a former vice president of Cinergy as well as Cruz’s wife) was also added to the case.

Earlier this week, the DOJ moved to dismiss (see here) its case against Cinergy.  The motion states as follows.  “The government has recently learned that defendant Cinergy Telecommunications, Inc. is a non-operational entity that effectively exists only on paper for the benefit of two fugitive defendants, Washington Vasconez Cruz and Cecilia Zurita.  For several years, these defendants took actions making it appear as though Cinergy was an on-going operational company.”  The motion states that “defense counsel recently confirmed that Cinergy is in fact now non-operational, has no employees, and has no assets of any real value.”  The motion concludes as follows.  “In light of persuasive information the government has developed that Cinergy no longer exists in any real sense and that it was portrayed as existing at least in part to further fugitive defendants’ litigation strategy, the government in its discretion and under the circumstances presented has elected not to proceed with a trial against Cinergy.”

Joel Hirschhorn (here – Hirschhorn & Bieber P.A.) represents Cinergy as well as certain individual defendants in the case.

This Week’s FCPA Disclosure

In this prior post, I commented (somewhat tongue-in-cheek) that every week another company seems to be disclosing FCPA scrutiny.  So far so good.  This week’s disclosure is from Cobalt International Energy which disclosed as follows in its recent annual report.

“In connection with entering into our RSAs for Blocks 9 and 21 offshore Angola, two Angolan-based E&P companies were assigned as part of the contractor group by the Angolan government. We had not worked with either of these companies in the past, and, therefore, our familiarity with these companies was limited. In the fall of 2010, we were made aware of allegations of a connection between senior Angolan government officials and one of these companies, Nazaki Oil and Gáz, S.A. (“Nazaki”), which is a full paying member of the contractor group. Nazaki has repeatedly denied the allegations in writing. In March 2011, the SEC commenced an informal inquiry into these allegations. To avoid non-overlapping information requests, we voluntarily contacted the U.S. Department of Justice (“DOJ”) with respect to the SEC’s informal request and offered to respond to any requests the DOJ may have. Since such time, we have been complying with all requests from the SEC and DOJ with respect to their inquiry. In November 2011, a formal order of investigation was issued by the SEC related to our operations in Angola. We are fully cooperating with the SEC and DOJ investigations, have conducted an extensive investigation into these allegations and believe that our activities in Angola have complied with all laws, including the FCPA. We cannot provide any assurance regarding the duration, scope, developments in, results of or consequences of these investigations.”

World Bank Debarment

Earlier this week, the World Bank announced (here) “debarment of Alstom Hydro France and Alstom Network Schweiz AG (Switzerland) – in addition to their affiliates – for a period of three years following Alstom’s  acknowledgment of misconduct in relation to a Bank-financed hydropower  project.”  According to the release, “in 2002, Alstom made an improper payment of €110,000, to an entity controlled by a  former senior government official for consultancy services in relation to the  World Bank-financed Zambia Power Rehabilitation Project.”  The release further states as follows. “The  debarment is part of a Negotiated Resolution Agreement between Alstom and the  World Bank which also includes a restitution payment by the two companies  totaling approximately $9.5 million. The debarment can be reduced to 21 months –  with enhanced oversight – if the companies comply with all conditions of the  agreement.”

What to make of the debarment based on conduct 10 years ago is a bit difficult.  This Wall Street Journal Story by Dionne Searcey and David Crawford states as follows.  “There was some confusion about the company’s official response. Early Wednesday, Alstom spokesman Patrick Bessy said Alstom didn’t admit guilt in its settlement with the World Bank. “The World Bank made assumptions which were not proved,” he said, adding that because the matter was so old, “Alstom was unable to find evidence it could present in its own defense so we decided to settle.”  Mr. Bessy said the blacklisting won’t affect Alstom Group, which has had only one project that involved World Bank funding since 2007. He said the company has several other subsidiaries engaged in hydroelectric projects that aren’t affected by the ban and will be eligible for World Bank funding of their projects. In all only about 5% of Alstom sales are in the hydroelectric field, Mr. Bessy said. In a later statement, the company rejected Mr. Bessy’s comments: “Alstom’s general counsel … stated that any comments that were previously made by Alstom are not valid.”

Reflecting On The New Era of FCPA Enforcement

As discussed in this previous post, in November 2010 Assistant Attorney General Lanny Breuer declared as follows.  “We are in a new era of FCPA enforcement’ and we are here to stay.”  Thomas Gorman (Dorsey Whitney) runs the always informative SEC Actions blog – see here.  In this post, titled “The New Era of FCPA Enforcement:  A Time For Reflection” Gorman hit the ball out of the park when he states as follows.

“Perhaps now is a good time to stop and reflect on what the courts and jurors have said about the “new era” of FCPA enforcement. Surely that era should be more than a dazzling array of ever increasing monetary payments by corporations or actions against individuals built on questionable blue collar tactics. Surely it should be more than business organizations spending ever increasing sums to conduct far reaching and perhaps at times unnecessary investigations at huge expense in a effort to win cooperation credit. Surely it should be more than brining increasing numbers of charges against individuals and demanding longer and longer prison terms. Perhaps now is the time to craft meaningful reform to the Act and enforcement policy to ensure clearer guidance and a more balanced application of the statutes to ensure that the laudable goals of the statute in a fair and balanced manner in the future. That would truly be a “new era” of FCPA enforcement.”

For additional reflections on this “new era” of FCPA enforcement, see this piece I published with the ABA Global Anti-Corruption Task Force.

*****

A good weekend to all.

Friday Roundup

The Lindsey defendants argue that “repeated and intentional government misconduct” requires dismissal of their jury convictions, a nondescript Commerce Department statement regarding the July 22nd FCPA Business Roundtable, a World Bank service opportunity, there is now competing FCPA insurance products, Ethisphere launches its Anti-Corruption Resource Center, and the DOJ’s Travel Act opposition brief in Carson … its all here in the Friday Roundup.

Lindsey Supplemental Motion to Dismiss Based on Government Misconduct

A previous post (here) asked whether the Lindsey convictions were hanging by a thread and summarized the June 27th hearing on defendants’ prosecutorial misconduct motion during which Judge Matz made some rather damning comments concerning the DOJ’s first-ever corporate FCPA jury trial verdict. Earlier this week, Lindsey Manufacturing, Keith Lindsey and Steven Lee filed a “Supplemental Brief In Support of Motion to Dismiss the Indictment With Prejudice Due to Repeated and Intentional Government Misconduct” (see here and here in two parts).

Highly factual, the brief begins as follows. “The investigation and prosecution of this case were permeated with instances of purposeful, prejudicial government misconduct. The government’s misconduct was patent and pervasive, designed to win the case, not do justice.” Counsel for Lindsey Manufacturing and Keith Lindsey, Jan Handzlik (Greenberg Traurig – here) stated as follows. “Considered individually or on a cumulative basis, the government’s conduct was extraordinarily damaging. We believe this unfair prejudice should result in a dismissal.”

The Lindsey case was profiled in a July 22nd Wall Street Journal article which detailed how “the Justice Department is grappling with a string of high-profile blunders that have prompted stinging rebukes from judges.” Interestingly, the WSJ did not profile the recent mistrial in the DOJ’s high-profile Africa Sting case (see here for the prior post).

As to the Africa Sting case, this recent post from the Blog of Legal Times detailed a hearing earlier this week in the case during which the DOJ said it “wants to retry the first four defendants before any of the other trials.”

Commerce Department Statement Regarding the July 22nd Business Roundtable

On July 22nd, the Commerce Department hosted, along with Assistant Attorney General Lanny Breuer and SEC Enforcement Director Robert Khuzami, a business roundtable on the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act. The statement (here) released yesterday by Cameron Kerry (Commerce Department General Counsel)  stated as follows. “Over twenty company representatives from a wide range of business sectors, sizes, and geographic locations participated. Participants were recommended by business associations with an interest in this area. We engaged in an open and constructive dialogue and many participants noted that U.S. business and the government must work together to fight international bribery and corruption in order to uphold the rule of law and support human rights. We heard an array of concerns, complaints, and compliments about the statute, its enforcement and related guidance, and I was encouraged by the large turnout, the frank conversation, and the clear dedication of all participants to address the corrosive impact of corruption on international commerce.”

World Bank Sanctions Board Vacancies

The World Bank Sanctions Board is comprised of four external members and three internal (World Bank staff) members. The World Bank is inviting applications and nominations for the positions of two Sanctions Board members to be selected from among non-Bank staff. To learn more see here.

Additional FCPA Insurance Option

A prior post (here) noted that an insurance company (Chartis ) has begun offering Foreign Corrupt Practices Act insurance and how this development only confirmed that FCPA Inc. has become a full-fledged industry in and of itself. Recently, Marsh also launched (here) its own FCPA insurance product. As described in the company’s brochure, “FCPA Corporate Response” – “reimburses companies for investigation costs including legal, accounting, auditing, and consulting fees due to an FCPA claim;” “provides coverage for both the organization and individuals for FCPA investigations;” and “acts as primary insurance to a directors and officers (D&O) liability policy to immediately protect individual directors and officers.” The insurance also covers investigations under the U.K. Bribery Act as well.

Ethisphere Launches Anti-Corruption Resource Center

Earlier this week, Ethisphere (a leading international think-tank dedicated to the creation, advancement and sharing of best practices in business ethics, corporate social responsibility, anti-corruption and sustainability) launched its Anti-Corruption Resource Center – see here for the release. A mix of freely accessible and password protected information, the Anti-Corruption Resource Center contains, among other things, various article regarding FCPA and compliance topics, a schedule of upcoming FCPA conferences and events.

DOJ’s Travel Act Opposition Brief

A prior post (here) discussed certain of the Carson defendants motion to dismiss Travel Act charges based on alleged bribes to employees of private companies located in China and Russia. Among other things, defendants argued that the Travel Act has no foreign application.

Recently, the DOJ filed (here) its opposition brief. According to the DOJ, “[b]ecause the majority of defendants’ unlawful conduct was based in the United States, the statutes at issue [the Travel Act and California’s commercial bribery statute] reach defendants’ conduct without any resort to extraterritorial application.” As stated by the DOJ, “defendants S. Carson, R. Carson, Cosgrove, and Edmonds were all U.S. citizens and served as executives at CCI’s headquarters in Rancho Santa Margarita, California” and a “significant portion of the four defendants’ acts in furtherance of the conspiracy occurred either in the United States or through communications with individuals in the United States.” The DOJ further argued as follows. “Although the Court need not consider the question of whether the Travel Act applies extraterritorially, the plain language of the statute, the legislative history, and the case law all indicate that the Travel Act does apply extraterritorially.”

*****

A good weekend to all.

Potpourri

AG Holder On Corruption

Last week Attorney General Eric Holder was in Slovenia to speak at The Balkans Justice Ministerial. In his speech (here) AG Holder focused on the “global fight against corruption.”

Holder stated as follows.

“Corruption strikes hardest at the most vulnerable among us, siphoning scarce resources away from those most in need. It advances the selfish desires of a dishonest few over the best interests of those who work hard and obey the law. In countries rich and poor, large and small – corruption erodes trust in government and private institutions alike. It undermines confidence in the fairness of free and open markets. It stifles competition and repels foreign investment. It hinders progress, and it breeds contempt for the rule of law.”

“And yet corruption continues to flourish.”

Holder stressed that “all nations struggle against corruption” and that the U.S “is no exception.”

Holder called on all nations “to ratify – and to fully implement – the UN Convention Against Corruption.” (See here).

As to asset recovery, Holder repeated his call first made in Qatar (see here for the prior post) that asset recovery (i.e. ensuring that corrupt officials do not retain illicit proceeds) “isn’t just a global necessity – it’s a moral imperative.”

U.K. Oil for Food Sentence

With its approximately twenty corporate enforcement actions connected to the U.N. Iraq Oil for Food Program, the U.S. is clearly the leader in collecting corporate fines connected to this scandal plagued, defunct program.

The U.K. however has clearly emerged as the leader in holding individuals (not just corporations) to account for illegal behavior in connection with the program.

Last week, the U.K. Serious Fraud Office announced (here) that Mark Jessop admitted to breaking U.N. sanctions during the Oil For Food Program by making illegal payments to Saddam Hussein’s government. The release states that Jessop was sentenced to 24 weeks’ imprisonment. According to the release, Jessop was ordered to pay £150,000 to the Development Fund for Iraq and pay prosecution costs of £25,000. Jessop sold medical goods to Iraq, initially as an employee of a British surgical instruments company, but later through his own companies – JJ Bureau Ltd and Opthalmedex Ltd, of which he was sole director.

For other recent U.K. Oil for Food sentences, see here for the prior post.

Resource Extraction Disclosures

Remember Section 1504 of the Dodd-Frank Act? (See here for the prior post).

The Huffington Post reports (here) that the April 15th deadline for the SEC to issue final implementing regulations has passed. According to the SEC (see here) the new target date for final implementing rules is between August and December.

I guess this is what happens when an ill-conceived, poorly drafted law is inserted into a massive piece of legislation as a miscellaneous provision at the last moment without any meaningful debate or analysis.

World Bank News

Last week, the World Bank released (here) a “Declaration of Agreed Principles for Effective Global Enforcement to Counter Corruption.” See here for the press release.

The release also notes that the World Bank’s Integrity office’s (“INT”) FY10 results include “117 investigations in FY10, with 45 debarments of firms and individuals for engaging in wrongdoing.” For INT’s FY2010 Annual Report, see here.

Siemens Related News

Today is the two year anniversary of the Siemens FCPA enforcement action, the largest ever in terms of fines and penalties – $800 million in the U.S. For last year’s post on the one year anniversary see here.

This post discusses recent Siemens related news.

First, a recent Spiegel Online article about continued U.S. interest in individual prosecutions.

Second, and on a much different topic, Siemens’ recent funding of various anti-corruption programs and initiatives pursuant to its World Bank settlement.

Individual Prosecutions

It probably is not the best time to be a former Siemens employee or executive somehow connected with the conduct at issue in 2008 FCPA enforcement action – the largest ever in terms of fines and penalties. Among other things, a November 30th Congressional hearing (here) was devoted (at least in part) to the issue of why no Siemens employees or executives have been charged in connection with the FCPA enforcement action (see here and here),

On this issue, Spiegel Online (here) is reporting that “US authorities are now investigating” former Siemens CEO Heinrich von Pierer, and “other top managers” in connection with the bribery scandal.

The December 9th article states that “a few weeks ago, officials with the U.S. Justice Department and the Securities and Exchange Commission questioned the current supervisory board chairman, Gerhard Cromme, as well as former auditors from the era of large-scale corruption.” According to the article, U.S. investigators “were due to return to Germany this week.”

Spiegel reports that U.S. investigators are specifically interested in “Pierer and Uriel Sharef, the former head of the power plant division, who was also in charge of the company’s South American business” and “Siemens projects in Argentina, Venezuela and Colombia.”

The Siemens enforcement action did include related enforcement actions against Siemens S.A. (Argentina) and Siemens S.A. (Venezuela).

In the Argentina matter (here), the DOJ alleged that Siemens entities made over $31 million in corrupt payments in exchange for favorable business treatment in connection with various government infrastructure projects, including a national identity card project, in Argentina.

In the Venezuela matter (here), the DOJ alleged that Siemens entities made over $18 million in corrupt payments in exchange for favorable business treatment in connection with two major mass transit projects in Venezuela.

The Spiegel article documents Senator Arlen Specter’s May 2010 exchange with Assistant Attorney General Lanny Breuer about the Siemens matter (see here), but does not mention the above referenced Congressional chaired by Senator Specter.

Doing Good, After Doing Bad

In July 2009, after resolution of the U.S. FCPA enforcement action, Siemens and the World Bank agreed to a settlement (see here) in connection with “corruption in a project in Russia involving a Siemens subsidiary.” The settlement included “a commitment by Siemens to pay $100 million over the next 15 years to support anti-corruption work.”

Last week, Siemens announced (here) the first wave of funding. As noted in the release, $40 million will be distributed to more than 30 initiatives in over 20 countries. (For a list of projects see here).

The release states as follows:

“Projects that will be supported by this initial tranche include assisting the Brazilian organization Instituto Ethos in ensuring the transparent award of the infrastructure contracts for the Football World Cup 2014 and the Olympic Games 2016 in Brazil. In Europe, the newly founded International Anti-Corruption Academy is receiving funding for research and teaching. This Vienna-based international organization was set up to train anti-corruption experts from all over the world.

Other initiatives will be supported in the following countries: Angola, Brazil, China, Egypt, Hungary, India, Indonesia, Italy, Mexico, Nigeria, the Philippines, Russia, the Slovak Republic, South Africa, the Czech Republic, the U.S. and Vietnam and various Middle Eastern states.”

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