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Friday Roundup

Question to ponder, scrutiny alerts and updates, Caremark, and for the reading stack. It’s all here in the Friday roundup.

Question to Ponder

If publicly-traded companies can put law enforcement to its burden of proof in peer countries, why do publicly traded companies (nearly universally) roll over and play dead when the subject of U.S. law enforcement inquiries?

As highlighted here [1]:

“An Italian court found oil services group Saipem and a former CEO guilty of corruption in a long-running trial over bribes in Algeria but acquitted oil major Eni. In a court ruling on Wednesday, Milan judges sentenced one-time Saipem CEO Pietro Tali to four years and nine months in prison and seized 197.9 million euros ($231 million) from the company. Saipem was also fined 400,000 euros. In the same ruling, the court acquitted Eni, its former CEO Paolo Scaroni and its current upstream head Antonio Vella.”

Don’t people understand that the so-called “Arthur Anderson effect” – always a myth – has been completely debunked? (See here [2] and here [3] for prior posts).

Scrutiny Alerts and Updates

JPMorgan

Fresh off its recent $202 million FCPA enforcement action based on alleged improper hiring and internship practices (see here [4]), JPMorgan is again in the spotlight. As highlighted in this Bloomberg article [5]:

“The Libyan Investment Authority sued JPMorgan Chase & Co. in London, saying the lender paid more than $6 million in bribes to secure a $200 million bond deal. JPMorgan’s Bear Stearns sent the payments to businessman Walid Al-Giahmi — a close friend of the Qaddafi regime — to arrange deals in a contract that was no more than a “sham” agreement, according to London court documents released Tuesday. The bank has until next month to submit defense documents in the case, which was filed in April. A spokesman declined to comment.”

Recent FCPA enforcement actions to focus on relationships with the Libyan Investment Authority include Societe Generale [6]Legg Mason [7] and Och-Ziff [8].

[9]

Sinovac

As highlighted in this recent post [10], Sinovac (a Chinese issuer) recently disclosed:

“[T]he U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (“SEC”) has concluded its investigation into possible violations of the federal securities laws related to allegations that certain Sinovac employees made improper payments to Chinese government officials. The SEC determined that it will not recommend or pursue an enforcement action against Sinovac at this time. Sinovac is committed to conducting business in compliance with all applicable laws and cooperated fully with the SEC.”

In an unsurprising more recent development, Sinovac disclosed [11]:

“[T]he U.S. Department of Justice (“DOJ”) has closed its investigation, with no charges, into possible violations of the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act related to allegations that certain Sinovac employees made improper payments to Chinese government officials. The closing of the DOJ investigation follows the SEC’s termination of its related investigation, which the Company announced on August 20, 2018.  With the closure of the DOJ’s investigation, the Company is not aware of any pending U.S. government investigations of the Company related to these matters. Sinovac is committed to conducting business in compliance with all applicable laws and cooperated fully with the DOJ.”

Caremark

If you care about Caremark and its impact on compliance, check out the Summer 2018 edition [12] of the Temple Review which has six articles devoted to the topic.

For the Reading Stack

Andrew Boutros (Seyfart Shaw) and Markus Funk (Perkins Coie) recently authored this article [13] titled “Re-Examining “Carbon Copy” Prosecutions: A Look Back and Spring Forward.”

Save Money With FCPA Connect

Keep it simple. Not all FCPA issues warrant a team of lawyers or other professional advisers. Achieve client and business objectives in a more efficient manner through FCPA Connect. Candid, Comprehensive, and Cost-Effective.

Connect [14]