Thank you for making FCPA Professor a part of your day in 2011. Whether you are an everyday reader (256 posts in 2011) or an occassional visitor, your readership is appreciated.
Today’s post links to the thoughts of others as to the year that was. In this post, Thomas Fox (FCPA Compliance and Ethic Blog) has a “Top 10 FCPA Enforcement Actions for 2011 in the Corporate Division.” In this post, Michael Volkov (Corruption, Crime, and Compliance) has a “Top Ten FCPA Events in 2011.” In this post, Richard Cassin (FCPA Blog) has a “Top Stories of 2011.”
The FCPA again picked up plenty of Collar Awards from the White Collar Crime Prof Blog – here. The Collar for the Gun Used Most Often in Corporate Hold-ups – The Foreign Corrupt Practices Act.(two years in a row). The Collar for the Least Likely to Survive– A FCPA case that goes to trial. The Collar for Recidivism– to the Department of Justice’s Fraud Section for Lindsey Manufacturing. The Collar for Most Qualified Judge for American Idol – Tie – Hon. Howard Matz for voting off Lindsey Manufacturing.
I will be doing several year in review posts in the coming days, but for the time being, I was pleased to participate in the Wall Street Journal Corruption Currents year-end roundup – see here. My responses were as follows.
What will be the biggest corruption story of 2012?
Difficult to predict of course, but in 2012 I see a continuation, and indeed an escalation, of scrutiny of the FCPA and FCPA enforcement. What is the purpose of the FCPA? Does the current enforcement landscape best advance that purpose? If not, is it the enforcement approach that needs re-visiting rather than the statute itself? If the statute itself, what reform is needed? These are all valid and legitimate questions that should continue to be asked. 2012 will be an important year in the FCPA’s history.
What was the biggest surprise of 2011?
The following issue received scant attention, but it still causes me to scratch my head. In September, Innospec settled a civil lawsuit brought by a competitor based on the same core set of conduct alleged in the 2010 FCPA enforcement action. In the 2010 enforcement action, Innospec received a pass on approximately $135 million in fines and penalties based on its claimed inability to pay—a claim the enforcement agencies accepted. Yet in September, Innospec agreed to resolve the civil suit by paying the competitor, in the aggregate, approximately $45 million (including an immediate $25 million payment). It sure seems like the enforcement agencies were duped. (See here for the prior post).
I look forward to your readership in 2012. If you want to make your voice heard in the new year and have something novel, candid or interesting to say about the FCPA or related issues, please consider a guest post.