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Swedish Appellate Court Agrees, Karimova Was Not A “Public Official” (The Same Enforcement Theory That The U.S. Largely Used To Secure Approximately $1.7 Billion In FCPA Settlements)

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This post is related to a prior post from March 2019 regarding the same subject.

In recent years, the U.S. government has secured approximately $1.7 billion in net Foreign Corrupt Practices Act settlement amounts in related FCPA enforcement actions against telecommunications companies VimpelCom, Telia, and most recently MTS. The enforcement actions were largely based on the theory that Gulnara Karimova (the daughter of former Uzbekistan President Islam Karimov) was a “foreign official” under the FCPA’s anti-bribery provisions. Like many FCPA enforcement theories, this theory was not subjected to any meaningful judicial scrutiny.

However, in a 2019 criminal prosecution of former Telia executives Tero Kivisaari, Olli Tuohimaa and Lars Nyberg, a Swedish trial court acquitted the defendants because Karimova was not a “public official” under the relevant law.

Earlier this year, a Swedish appellate court affirmed the acquittal and once again concluded that Karimova was not a “public official” under the relevant law.

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Elevate Your FCPA Knowledge And Practical Skills – FCPA Institute Zoom (Oct. 27-29)

FCPA Institute - Zoom

Since 2014, the FCPA Institute has elevated the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act knowledge and practical skills of hundreds of professionals from around the world. In the current COVID environment, the traditional two-day in-person FCPA Institute is still not yet feasible.

However, there remains a need for FCPA knowledge and skill development. After the inaugural FCPA Institute – Zoom was offered in November 2020 to a worldwide audience, and another in April 2021 to a worldwide audience, I am pleased to offer another FCPA Institute – Zoom on October 27-29th. The FCPA Institute – Zoom will consist of 9 hours of integrated and cohesive instruction (each day from 8 a.m. – 11 a.m. central) led by Professor Koehler, an FCPA expert with FCPA practice and teaching experience.

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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.

This post highlights what you need to know from the third quarter.

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The Current Time Gap In SEC Individual FCPA Enforcement Is The Longest In Eight Years

waiting

One reason to take FCPA enforcement agency rhetoric with a grain of salt is because it is warranted.

For instance, the FCPA enforcement agencies often talk about the importance of x and how they are committed to x, but in reality rarely do x.

Case in point is SEC individual FCPA enforcement actions.

For many years, SEC enforcement officials have talked about the importance of individual FCPA enforcement actions and set forth below are representative quotes from over the years.

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Petrobras Exits NPA

petrobras

As highlighted here, in September 2018 Petrobras (a Brazilian state-owned and state-controlled energy company) entered into agreements with U.S. and Brazilian authorities “in connection with Petrobras’s role in facilitating payments to politicians and political parties in Brazil, as well as a related Brazilian investigation.”

After various credits and deductions for a related law enforcement action in Brazil, the net FCPA settlement was approximately $170 million ($85.3 million DOJ, $85.3 million SEC).

The DOJ action was resolved through a three year non-prosecution agreement pursuant to which Petrobras, among other things, committed to continue to enhance its compliance program and internal controls, including ensuring that its compliance program satisfied the minimum elements set forth in an attachment to the NPA.

Petrobras recently announced that it has “concluded the obligations” set forth in the NPA.

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