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DOJ Releases Two So-Called “Declination” Letters, Yet “Pursuant To” The Letters, HMT LLC And NCH Corp. Agree To Disgorge $2.7 Million And $335,000

September 30, 2016

Surprise

Just when you think you’ve seen it all in connection with Foreign Corrupt Practices Act enforcement, along comes yesterday’s development.

In an e-mail to media, the DOJ stated that it sent letters to “counsel for HMT LLC and NCH Corporation outlining the department’s decision to close its inquiry into potential FCPA violations.”

But, and this is a big but, “pursuant to” the letters, HMT agreed to disgorge $2,719,412 “which represents the profit to HMT from the illegally obtained sales in Venezuela and China” and NCH Corp. agreed to disgorge $335,342 “which represents the profit to NCH from the illegally obtained sales in China.”

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SEC Brings Historic FCPA Enforcement Action Against Daniel Och (CEO And Chairman Of Och-Ziff) and Joel Frank (CFO)

September 29, 2016

Daniel Och

In connection with the $412 million Foreign Corrupt Practices Act enforcement action against Och-Ziff (the 4th largest of all-time – stay tuned for additional coverage as original source documents become available), the SEC also found that Daniel Och (CEO and Chairman of Och-Ziff – pictured) was a cause of certain of the company’s FCPA books and records violations and that Joel Frank (CFO) was a cause of certain of the company’s FCPA books and records and internal controls violations.

This represents, what is believed to be, the first time in FCPA history that the SEC also found the current CEO and CFO of the issuer company liable for company FCPA violations.

Without admitting or denying the SEC’s findings, Och agreed to pay approximately $2.2 million ($1,900,000 – reflecting his estimated share of gain to Och-Ziff resulting from the transactions with a Democratic Republic of Congo Partner and $273,718 in prejudgment interest). The $2.2 million Och agreed to pay is the largest settlement amount in FCPA history by an individual in an SEC action.

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On National Drink Beer Day, AB InBev Agrees To Pay $6 Million To Resolve FCPA (And Related) Enforcement Action

September 29, 2016

ABInBev

Yesterday was National Drink Beer Day.

Fitting then that yesterday the SEC announced this administrative cease and desist order against Anheuser-Busch InBev, a Belgium brewer with American Depository Receipts traded on the New York Stock Exchange. The conduct at issue involved improper payments by an Indian joint venture “to Indian government officials to obtain beer orders and to increase brewery hours.” AB InBev held a minority interest in the joint venture which marketed and distributed the beer of AB InBev’s wholly-owned Indian subsidiary.

The SEC found that AB InBev violated the FCPA’s books and records and internal controls provisions. Without admitting or denying the SEC’s findings, AB InBev agreed to pay approximately $6 million to resolve the matter. As highlighted below, the SEC also found that AB InBev entered into a separation agreement with a former employee that violated an SEC Rule implementing Dodd-Frank’s whistleblower provisions.

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FCPA Flash – A Conversation With Ty Cobb Regarding FCPA Enforcement And Enforcement Policies

September 28, 2016

FCPA Flash

The FCPA Flash podcast provides in an audio format the same fresh, candid, and informed commentary about the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act and related topics as readers expect from the written posts on FCPA Professor.

This FCPA Flash episode is a conversation with Ty Cobb (Hogan Lovells), a former federal prosecutor and widely regarded as one of the leading white collar defense attorneys in the country. In the episode, Cobb discusses whether the SEC should formally announce an FCPA Pilot Program similar to what the DOJ announced in April 2016; the lack of judicial scrutiny of FCPA enforcement actions; what “success” means in FCPA enforcement; and dynamics relevant to foreign law enforcement actions concerning FCPA or similar conduct.

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Circling Back On The Ping / Harris Corp. Matter

September 27, 2016

Harris

This September 15th post regarding the SEC’s enforcement action against Jun Ping Zhang (the former Chairman and CEO of CareFx China, a dissolved Chinese subsidiary of Harris Corp) noted that the SEC, in the Ping Order, found that as a result of Ping’s conduct “Harris violated the FCPA’s books and records provisions.”

Elsewhere, the Order stated that as a result of the alleged improper conduct CareFx was awarded over $9.6 million in contracts.

Accordingly, the prior post wondered whether a future Foreign Corrupt Practices Act enforcement action against Harris Corp. would be forthcoming. Indeed, there have been several examples of the SEC first bringing an FCPA enforcement action against an individual and then following up with an FCPA enforcement action against the company. (For instance, in August 2015 the SEC brought an FCPA enforcement action against Vicente Garcia (a former head of Latin American sales for SAP) followed by SAP enforcement action in February 2016- see here).

It turns out that the answer to the question: will there be an FCPA enforcement action against Harris Corp. is no because in this SEC release issued on September 12th (a day before the September 13th Ping Order) the SEC states:

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