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What You Need To Know From Q3

q3

This post provides a summary of Foreign Corrupt Practices Act enforcement activity and related developments from the third quarter of 2023. (See here for a similar post for Q1 and here for Q2).

DOJ Enforcement (Corporate)

The DOJ brought two corporate enforcement actions in the third quarter. The net settlement amounts from these enforcement actions totaled $135.1 million.

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This Week On FCPA Professor

ThisWeekPost

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, chemical company Albemarle resolved a net $218.4 million enforcement action concerning conduct in Vietnam, Indonesia, India, China, and the United Arab Emirates.

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Chemical Company Albemarle Resolves A Net $218.4 Million Enforcement Action

albemarle-logo

As highlighted in this prior post, in February 2018 Albemarle Corp. (a North Carolina based chemical company) disclosed Foreign Corrupt Practices Act scrutiny.

More than 5.5 years later, the DOJ and SEC announced a net $218.4 million FCPA enforcement action against the company.

The resolution included a DOJ non-prosecution agreement (pursuant to which the company agreed to pay a $98.2 million criminal penalty and $16.6 million in forfeiture) and an SEC administrative order (pursuant to which the company agreed to pay approximately $103.6 million in disgorgement and prejudgment interest).

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China Based Issuer Resolves Non-FCPA, FCPA Enforcement Action

TAL

The Foreign Corrupt Practices Act has always been a law much broader than its name suggests.

Sure, the FCPA contains anti-bribery provisions which concern foreign bribery.

Sure, the FCPA’s books and records and internal controls provisions can be implicated in foreign bribery schemes.

However, the fact remains that most FCPA enforcement actions (that is enforcement actions that charge or find violations of the FCPA’s books and records and internal controls provisions) have nothing to do with foreign bribery. For lack of a better term, these enforcement actions have longed been called non-FCPA, FCPA enforcement actions by this site.

The latest examples concerns TAL Education Group (TAL) (a company incorporated in the Cayman Islands and having its principal place of business in China with American Depository Shares traded on the New York Stock Exchange).

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Billboard Worthy: Clear Channel Outdoor Resolves $26.1 Million Enforcement Action

clearchanneloutdoor

Approximately 5.5 years ago (see here for the prior post), Clear Channel Outdoor Holdings (a public subsidiary of iHeartMedia and one of the world’s largest outdoor advertising corporations) disclosed FCPA scrutiny based on the conduct of “several employees of Clear Media Limited, an indirect, non-wholly-owned subsidiary of the Company whose ordinary shares are listed …. on the Hong Kong Stock Exchange.”

Today, the SEC (an enforcement agency whose officials have previously stated that it “should focus on bringing matters to resolution swiftly”) announced a $26.1 million FCPA enforcement action against the company.

In summary fashion, this administrative order finds:

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