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Friday Roundup

Mebiame sentenced, a multi-billion dollar settlement in Brazil, remember that, and for the reading stack. It’s all here in the Friday roundup.

Mebiame Sentenced

As highlighted in this prior post [1], in August 2016 the DOJ unsealed a criminal complaint charging Samuel Mebiame, a Gabonese national connected to Och-Ziff, with conspiracy to violate the FCPA’s anti-bribery provisions in connection with African mining projects. In December 2016, Mebiame pleaded guilty. (See here [2]).

Earlier this week, the DOJ announced [3] that Mebiame was sentenced to 24 months in prison.

Multi-Billion Dollar Settlement in Brazil

As has been widely reported (see here [4] and here [5] for instance):

“J&F Investimentos, controlling shareholder of the world’s largest meatpacker JBS SA agreed to pay a record-setting 10.3 billion real ($3.2 billion) fine for its role in corruption scandals …

The settlement follows testimony from J&F’s owners Joesley and Wesley Batista that they spent 600 million reais to bribe nearly 1,900 politicians in recent years, revelations that have deepened Brazil’s political crisis.”

In a release, JBS stated:

“The Board of Directors of JBS S.A. was informed … that J&F Investimentos SA, its 42% shareholder, has reached an agreement in principle with the Brazilian Federal Prosecutor’s Office to settle the financial penalty aspect of the leniency agreement reached in respect of several matters that had been the subject of ongoing investigations.

The financial penalty will be paid by J&F Investimentos, which is majority owned by the Batista family, who have said they will bear 100% of the cost of the settlement. It will have no impact on the operations of the JBS group. The penalty is R$10.3 billion (~ US$3.2 billion), adjusted for inflation and payable over a period of 25 years.

“This settlement is an important step forward as it removes uncertainty for our customers, suppliers, team members, shareholders and lenders. We can now focus on the future,” said Tarek Farahat, chairman of JBS S.A.  “We are committed to taking the appropriate steps to implement best-in-class governance and compliance standards, and are focused on getting back to business as usual, continuing to provide the excellent products and services our customers and consumers have come to expect and enjoy, further developing our relationships with our suppliers, working closely with our 235,000 team members worldwide, and delivering strong financial performance for our shareholders.”

[6]

Remember That?

Remember that boardroom battle royale from 2012 when Wynn Resorts – using an internal investigation report by Louis Freeh (the former Director of the U.S. Federal Bureau of Investigation) accused its board member Kazuo Okada and his companies of violating the FCPA by making improper payments to gaming regulators at the Philippines Amusement and Gaming Corporation (PAGCOR)?

If not, see prior posts here [7] and here [8].

There never was an FCPA enforcement action against Okada or his companies.

As noted here [9]:

“Rogelio Yusi Bangsil Jr., a former exec at PAGCOR recently accused Wynn Macau of illegally sharing his personal data with a US law firm investigating alleged misconduct involving PAGCOR execs and Japanese gaming mogul Kazuo Okada.

Bangsil was one of the PAGCOR execs named in a report compiled by former FBI director Louis Freeh at Wynn’s request. The report alleges that Universal Entertainment CEO Okada improperly lavished the PAGCOR execs and their family members with MOP 880k (US $110k) worth of hotel stays and other perks at Wynn Macau and casinos in Las Vegas in order to win concessions regarding Okada’s proposed Manila casino project.

Macau has strict laws regarding the transfer of personal data to authorities outside the Special Administrative Region, and Wynn was fined MOP 20k in 2011 for violating the Personal Data Protection Act. Bangsil filed suit against Wynn last November and a hearing has been scheduled for June 22.

Bangsil told the MDT that he was “seeking an apology” from Wynn, as well as undisclosed financial damages. Bangsil insists there is “no truth” to the allegations contained in the Wynn report, which “cut short my career and the whole family suffered because of that.”

Bangsil, who retired from PAGCOR in 2012 as a direct result of the allegations, said the fact that Wynn paid the MOP 20k fine in 2011 means they “recognize they made a mistake, so why are they not apologizing to the victims?” Bangsil said some of the other 17 accused were contemplating their own damage claims but are waiting to see how his case fares.”

Reading Stack

The most recent edition of the always informative FCPA Update [10] from Debevoise & Plimption is out. It contains an extensive Q&A with Kara Brockmeyer, the SEC’s former FCPA Unit Chief, who recently joined the firm. (See here [11]).

Elevate Your FCPA Research

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Elevate Your Research [12]