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FCPA-Related Civil Claims Are Not A “New” Trend

Nope

This recent post highlighted Ericsson’s $97 million “ripple” for resolving a civil claim arising out of its 2019 Foreign Corrupt Practices Act enforcement action. Certain commentators have asked whether follow-on civil litigation from commercial competitors will become a “new” trend in the aftermath of FCPA enforcement matters.

Answer: the trend is not “new” – it has been happening for years in connection with certain FCPA enforcement actions or FCPA scrutiny.

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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.

The latest installment of “just don’t call it bribery” is here.

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Smith & Nephew Under FCPA Scrutiny … Again

smith and nephew

As highlighted in this prior post, in 2012 medical devices maker Smith & Nephew plc (a U.K. company with ADR shares traded on the New York Stock Exchange) resolved a $22 million Foreign Corrupt Practices Act enforcement action concerning conduct in Greece.

According to the DOJ, “Smith & Nephew, through certain executives, employees and affiliates, agreed to sell products at full list price to a Greek distributor based in Athens, and then pay the amount of the distributor discount to an off-shore shell company controlled by the distributor. These off-the-books funds were then used by the distributor to pay cash incentives and other things of value to publicly-employed Greek health care providers to induce the purchase of Smith & Nephew products. In total, from 1998 to 2008, Smith & Nephew, its affiliates and employees authorized the payment of approximately $9.4 million to the distributor’s shell companies, some or all of which was passed on to physicians to corruptly induce them to purchase medical devices manufactured by Smith & Nephew.”

Smith & Nephew is again under FCPA scrutiny as it recently disclosed:

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Ericsson’s $97 Million Ripple

Ripple

Foreign Corrupt Practices Act settlement amounts are one obvious consequence of FCPA non-compliance and tend to generate the most headlines.

However, as has been discussed on these pages for years  including in this article “FCPA Ripples”, settlement amounts are only one consequence of the overall financial ramifications of FCPA scrutiny and enforcement.

As highlighted in this prior post, in late 2019 Swedish telecom company Ericsson (a company with American Depositary Shares traded in the U.S.) resolved a $1.06 billion net FCPA enforcement action concerning conduct in Djibouti, China, Vietnam, Kuwait, Indonesia, and Saudi Arabia.

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