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Rewind To The Summer Of 2010

August 12, 2020

Every so often it is interesting to go back into the archives and this post rewinds back to the Summer of 2010.

Enjoy the trip down memory lane.

As highlighted here, the FCPA enforcement action against James Giffen came to a baffling conclusion. The original 2003 indictment charged Giffen with “making more than $78 million in unlawful payments to two senior officials of the Republic of Kazakhstan in connection with six separate oil transactions, in which the American oil companies Mobil Oil, Amoco, Texaco and Phillips Petroleum acquired valuable oil and gas rights in Kazakhstan.”

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It Is Absurd To Ask “Are Agents Ever Legal Under The FCPA?”

August 11, 2020

In this recent post, Richard Cassin (Founder and Editor at Large of the FCPA Blog) asks “are agents ever ‘legal’ under the FCPA?” He writes:

“My serious purpose in asking if agents are legal under the FCPA is about compliance with the accounting standards. […] Concerning the FCPA internal controls provisions, my question is: Can issuers meet the requirement if they use intermediaries? Or, is the use of an agent, which necessarily involves some loss of control, always non-compliant with management’s legal duty to provide reasonable assurance that transactions are accurately recorded, lawful, and in accordance with management’s authorization?”

These are absurd questions.

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Issues To Consider From The World Acceptance Corp. Enforcement Action

August 10, 2020

This prior post went in-depth into the SEC’s recent $21.7 million Foreign Corrupt Practices Act enforcement action against World Acceptance Corp. (WAC) and this post highlights additional issues to consider.

Timeline

As highlighted in this post, WAC disclosed its FCPA scrutiny in mid-2017.  Thus, from start to finish, its scrutiny lasted more than three years. I’ve said it many times, and will continue saying it until the cows come home, if the SEC wants its FCPA enforcement program to be viewed as credible and effective it must resolve instances of FCPA scrutiny much quicker.

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This Week On FCPA Professor

August 8, 2020

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.

In the minds of some, companies that have resolved Foreign Corrupt Practices Act enforcement actions are bad or unethical companies. It is a tempting position to take. After all, the FCPA is about bribery and corruption. However, it is a wrong position to take in many (but certainly not all) instances as many companies that resolve FCPA enforcement actions otherwise win awards of being the most ethical, most admired, or otherwise produce products or services that change the world. For instance, as highlighted in this post the U.S. government has partnered with several FCPA violators to help combat COVID-19.

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World Acceptance Corp. Resolves $21.7 Million Enforcement Action Based On The Conduct Of A Former Wholly-Owned Mexico Subsidiary

August 7, 2020

As highlighted in this prior post, in June 2017 World Acceptance Corporation (a South Carolina based consumer finance company) disclosed that it was “conducting an internal investigation of its operations in Mexico, focusing on the legality under the U.S. Foreign Corrupt Practices Act and certain local laws of certain payments related to loans, the maintenance of the Company’s books and records associated with such payments, and the treatment of compensation matters for certain employees.”

As highlighted in this prior post, in May 2020 the company disclosed that “discussions with the SEC have progressed to a point that the Company can now reasonably estimate a probable loss and has recorded an aggregate accrual of $21.7 million with respect to the SEC matters.”

Yesterday, the SEC announced that World Acceptance Corp. agreed to resolve a $21.7 million FCPA enforcement action based on the actions of a former wholly-owned Mexican subsidiary it sold in July 2018.

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