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An FCPA Enforcement Action Against A U.S. Company Is More Than Twice As Likely To Originate From A Voluntary Disclosure Compared To An FCPA Enforcement Action Against A Non-U.S. Company

At last week’s FCPA Institute – Boston (attended by a diverse group of professionals from leading companies and firms from around the world) a participant asked about any differences between the percentage of U.S. company Foreign Corrupt Practices Act enforcement actions that originate with a voluntary disclosure vs. FCPA enforcement actions against non-U.S. companies that originate with a voluntary disclosure.

I responded that U.S. company enforcement actions were much more likely to result from voluntary disclosures compared to non-U.S. company enforcement actions, but promised to provide the actual numbers and they are set forth below (courtesy of FCPAnalytics [1]).

Since January 1, 2016 there have been 68 corporate Foreign Corrupt Practices Act enforcement actions. 27 of those actions (40%) originated with a voluntary disclosure.

Of the 68 corporate enforcement actions, 36 (53%) have been against U.S. companies and 32 (47) have been against foreign companies. Thus, recent FCPA enforcement actions have generally been split between U.S. companies and non-U.S. companies – an interesting statistic in and of itself.

Of the 36 enforcement actions against U.S. companies, 20 (55%) originated with a voluntary disclosure.

Of the 32 enforcement actions against foreign companies, 7 (22%) originated with a voluntary disclosure.

In other words, an FCPA enforcement action against a U.S. company is more than twice as likely to originate from a voluntary disclosure compared to an enforcement action against a non-U.S. company.

Because voluntary disclosure is a factor considered by the enforcement agencies in both determining the form of resolution of an enforcement action as well as the settlement amount, as previously highlighted in this post [2], voluntary disclosure (or the general lack of voluntary disclosures by non-U.S. companies) helps, along with other factors, to explain why so many non-U.S. companies are in the FCPA’s top ten list (see here [3] for the current list).

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