U.S. Ambassador To Bangladesh: If Corruption Were “Less Prevalent” The Country Would “Attract More Investment”
March 22, 2023
U.S. Ambassador to Bangladesh Peter Haas recently gave this speech at an event in the country.
In the speech, Haas discussed U.S. government support for initiatives “that help Bangladeshi businesses meet international standards and regulations, making them more competitive in the global market,” and offered ideas for how the Bangladeshi government could reduce corruption.
Haas concluded his speech by saying that “if Bangladesh can assure citizens and investors that corruption is less prevalent here than in other markets, it will attract more investment and help the country continue the path of economic growth.”
The World’s “Most Ethical” FCPA Violators
March 21, 2023
I look at many things through a Foreign Corrupt Practices Act lens. It’s an occupational hazard I guess.
So when looking at this year’s “Most Ethical Companies” list published by Ethisphere, I looked for FCPA violators or companies currently under FCPA scrutiny – and like prior year’s – there were quite a few.
For starters, the “Most Ethical Companies” list has become diluted. This year, Ethisphere recognized 135 companies. By comparison, when Ethisphere first released its list in 2007 there were 92 companies. But who knows, perhaps companies have become ethical.
The following 2023 “Most Ethical Companies” honorees have resolved FCPA enforcement actions: ADM, Allianz, Elbit Systems, Eli Lilly, HP, IBM, Johnson Controls, Juniper Networks, Linde, Rockwell Automation, Pfizer, and Schnitzer Steel.
The following 2023 “Most Ethical Companies” honorees are currently under FCPA scrutiny: 3M, Edwards Life Sciences, and Leidos.
A Closer Look At The “Factual Basis For Breach” In The Ericsson Matter
March 20, 2023
This prior post covered the 2019 Foreign Corrupt Practices Act enforcement action against Ericsson. The enforcement action concerned conduct in Djibouti, China, Vietnam, Kuwait, Indonesia, and Saudi Arabia and included a DOJ and SEC component. The DOJ matter involved a one count criminal information against Ericsson subsidiary Ericsson Egypt Ltd. charging conspiracy to violate the FCPA’s anti-bribery provisions resolved through a plea agreement and a criminal information against Ericsson charging conspiracies to violate the FCPA’s anti-bribery, books and records, and internal controls provisions resolved through a deferred prosecution agreement. The DOJ matter was resolved through payment of a $520 million criminal penalty.
As highlighted in this prior post, in 2021 the DOJ suggested that Ericsson was in breach of its DPA obligations.
Recently, the DOJ announced that “Ericsson has agreed to plead guilty and pay a criminal penalty of more than $206 million after breaching a 2019 Deferred Prosecution Agreement (DPA).” (See here for the prior post).
The plea agreement contains an attachment titled “Factual Basis for Breach” and it makes for an interesting read. Among other things, the DOJ does assert any additional criminal conduct by Ericsson, nor does the DOJ assert that any of Ericsson’s alleged breaches prevented it from addressing the substantive conduct at issue in the 2019 enforcement. In addition, certain of the blame (seemingly much blame) for Ericsson’s alleged breaches appears to be the result – per the DOJ – of decisions or omissions by Ericsson’s “prior outside counsel.” Although “prior outside counsel” is not identified in the recent “Factual Basis for Breach,” Ericsson’s outside counsel in connection with the 2019 FCPA enforcement action was Simpson Thacher & Bartlett LLP attorneys Cheryl Scarboro, Joshua Levine and Diana Wielocha.
This Week On FCPA Professor
March 18, 2023
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, Corsa Coal agreed to pay $1.2 million in a “declination with disgorgement” enforcement action, but it could have been worse as the DOJ relieved the company of the remaining $31.5 million disgorgement amount based on inability to pay.
Am I A Victim?
March 17, 2023
As highlighted in this recent DOJ release, the CEO of a multinational corporation was criminally charged for giving, offering, and promising money to a Marine Liaison Officer for the U.S. Navy’s Fifth Fleet in Manama, Bahrain in exchange for the officer using his official position to take action benefiting the corporation.
As highlighted in this recent DOJ release, “a former City of Atlanta Commissioner of Watershed Management was sentenced today to four and a half years in prison for accepting bribes from an Atlanta contractor in exchange for steering city business worth millions of dollars to the contractor’s company.”
Numerous other DOJ press releases could also be highlighted regarding bribery of “U.S. officials” who abused their positions of authority and trust for their own personal enrichment and place their interests ahead of the public interest.
I am a U.S. citizen.
Am I thus a victim of this criminal conduct? Do I deserve compensation? Does my community deserve a new school or playground?