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DOJ Refuses To Answer Basic Factual Questions Regarding Its Recent FCPA Enforcement Actions

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“Greater transparency benefits everyone. The Criminal Division stands to benefit from being more transparent ..” (DOJ Assistant Attorney General, April 17, 2017).

As highlighted in this post, in April a high-ranking DOJ enforcement official stated that it is the DOJ’s “intent … for our FCPA investigations to be measured in months, not years.”

For those interested in holding FCPA enforcement officials accountable for their public statements, this requires a willingness by the DOJ to provide the public information that allows this occur.

The DOJ’s recent letter agreements in the Linde and CDM Smith enforcement actions (see here, here, here and here for prior coverage) mention that the companies voluntarily disclosed, but do not provide any additional specifics.

When did Linde voluntarily disclose? When did CDM Smith voluntarily disclose?

Providing this factual information is certainly not privileged information or disclosing a state secret.

In short, it is difficult to hold the DOJ accountable for its above statement regarding the length of FCPA investigations without … well … knowing how long DOJ FCPA investigations last.

On July 11th, I sent the following e-mail to the DOJ’s press office.

“As highlighted in the this speech, in April Acting Principal Deputy Assistant Attorney General Trevor McFadden stated that it is the DOJ’s “intent … for our FCPA investigations to be measured in months, not years.”

For those interested in holding FCPA enforcement officials accountable for their public statements, this requires a willingness by the DOJ to provide the public information that allows this occur.

For instance, in the recent Linde Gas and CDM Smith “declinations with disgorgement” (the letter agreements are here and here) the DOJ stated that the companies voluntarily disclosed but the letter agreements do not provide a specific date for when the disclosure occurred. Thus, it is impossible to assess how long the company’s FCPA scrutiny lasted and whether the DOJ’s investigation can be “measured in months, not years.”

Please provide the specific dates that Linde and CDM Smith voluntarily disclosed to the DOJ.”

On July 13th, I received the following response:

“The department will decline to comment.”

In case you are wondering, I am fairly confident that I would have received a similar response from the Obama DOJ. (See here for a previous non-response to a basic factual question).

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