Top Menu

This Week On FCPA Professor

April 21, 2018

FCPA Professor has been described as “the Wall Street Journal concerning all things FCPA-related,” and “the most authoritative source for those seeking to understand and apply the FCPA.”

Set forth below are the topics discussed this week on FCPA Professor.

As highlighted here, in a recent FCPA enforcement action the DOJ alleged that a company that describes itself as a “private sector business” was nevertheless an “instrumentality” of a foreign government.

Continue Reading

Friday Roundup

April 20, 2018

Motion to dismiss filed, guilty plea, role reversal, adequate procedures, for the reading stack, and viewing suggestion. It’s all here in the Friday roundup.

Motion to Dismiss Filed

As highlighted in this prior post, in November 2017 the DOJ announced that Chi Ping Patrick Ho (of Hong Kong, China) and Cheikh Gadio (of Senegal) were criminally charged with conspiring to violate the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act, violating the FCPA, conspiring to commit international money laundering, and committing international money laundering.

Earlier this week, Ho filed this motion to dismiss certain of the FCPA and money laundering charges.

Continue Reading

FCPA Challenge

April 19, 2018

How much do you know about the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act? Let’s find out.

To commemorate the FCPA’s 40th year, FCPA Professor is presenting the FCPA Challenge.

Each Thursday during 2018, a question will be posed and the answer will be below the fold.

This week’s question is: this 2011 enforcement action concerned alleged payments to Mexican veterinarians as well as placing their wives on the company’s payroll while “knowing that the wives did not actually perform any services” for the company?

Continue Reading

Walmart Six Years Later

April 19, 2018

Six years ago this week the New York Times published an article (here) titled “Vast Mexico Bribery Case Hushed Up by Wal-Mart After Top-Level Struggle.”

The conduct at issue in the Times article related to Wal-Mart’s largest foreign subsidiary, Wal-Mart de Mexico (“Wal-Mart Mexico), and suggested that Wal-Mart Mexico “orchestrated a campaign of bribery to win market dominance” and that the entity “paid bribes to obtain permits in virtually every corner” of Mexico.

The April 2012 NY Times article resulted in intense world-wide media scrutiny of Wal-Mart. However, it was known months before the NY Times article, that Wal-Mart was under FCPA scrutiny.  Like in many facets of modern life, the narrative that Wal-Mart’s FCPA scrutiny began with the NY Times article became more important than actual facts and uniformed commentators who frequently display little regard for actual facts carried forward the narrative.  (See here for the December 2011 FCPA Professor post highlighting Wal-Mart’s FCPA disclosure and here for the prior post titled “Wal-Mart’s FCPA Scrutiny DID NOT Begin with the April 2012 NY Times Article).

Thus, this week is a false six year anniversary of Wal-Mart’s FCPA scrutiny, but a meaningful anniversary nevertheless.

Continue Reading

Size Matters, But To What Extent?

April 18, 2018

Business organizations large and small are subject to the anti-bribery provisions of the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act.

Although the books and records and internal controls provisions only apply to issuers, issuers are not always large companies. These provisions make no explicit distinctions regarding the size of an issuer, but in the FCPA Guidance the DOJ and SEC sensibly acknowledge that a factor the enforcement agencies consider when evaluating an organization’s compliance program is the size of the organization. Specifically the Guidance states: ” small- and medium-size enterprises likely will have different compliance programs from large multi-national corporations, a fact DOJ and SEC take into account when evaluating companies’ compliance programs.”

Similarly, the DOJ’s November 2017 FCPA Corporate Enforcement Policy states: “implementation of an effective compliance and ethics program, the criteria for which will be periodically updated and which may vary based on the size and resources of the organization …”.

Despite this sensible FCPA enforcement agency guidance, does size actually matter?

Continue Reading