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Brothers Plead Guilty To FCPA And Related Charges In Connection With Ecuador Conduct At Issue In Sargeant Marine And Vitol Enforcement Actions

Ecuador

Keeping track of DOJ Foreign Corrupt Practices Act actions against individuals can sometimes be tricky.

Many individual actions are announced through DOJ press releases, but some enforcement actions are not and just quietly appear on a court docket.

For instance, you probably have not heard much about the FCPA enforcement action against brothers Enrique Pere Ycaza and Antonio Pere Ycaza.

The criminal informations (see here and here) were filed in October 2020: (i) shortly after the September 2020 FCPA enforcement action against Sargeant Marine Inc. (SMI Рa Florida based asphalt company) (see here for the prior post) concerning conduct in Brazil, Venezuela and Ecuador; and (ii) shortly before the December 2020 FCPA enforcement action against Vitol (an energy trading company Рsee here for the prior post) concerning conduct in Brazil, Ecuador, and Mexico.

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Father – Son Charged With FCPA Conspiracy In Connection With Sargeant Marine Action

fatherson

Some Foreign Corrupt Practices Act enforcement actions slip through the cracks.

The mid-December 2020 enforcement action against Jorge Luz and his son Bruno Luz in connection with the Sargeant Marine enforcement action (see here and here for prior posts) appears to be one such action as the DOJ never issued a press release and the actions are not even mentioned on the DOJ’s FCPA website.

The Sargeant Marine enforcement action concerned conduct in Brazil, Venezuela and Ecuador and the Luz enforcement action was based on the same core Brazil conduct alleged in the Sargeant Marine (SMI) matter. As highlighted in this prior post, five individuals were previously charged with FCPA offenses in connection with the SMI matter and the Luz enforcement action continues the clustering dynamic often seen in DOJ FCPA individual enforcement actions (that is, most corporate FCPA actions lack related individual charges, yet a few corporate enforcement actions involve 5+ related individual actions).

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FCPA Enforcement Action Alleges A Promise To Pay A “Foreign Official” After They Leave Public Office

promise

Yesterday, the DOJ announced that Deck Won Kang pleaded guilty to a criminal information charging him with one count of violating the FCPA’s anti-bribery provisions. As discussed below, the enforcement action involved a rather unique scenario in that Kang allegedly promised things of value to a “foreign official” after the individual left public office.

According to the criminal information, Kang (a U.S. citizen who controlled two closely held companies with principal places of business in New Jersey) engaged in a bribery scheme in which he paid bribes to high-ranking official (“Official 1”) in the Korean Navy and a procurement official for the Defense Acquisition Program Administration (DPA) – a state-owned and state-controlled agency within South Korea’s Ministry of National Defense that was responsible for the procurement of munitions and military equipment and supplies for the Korean Armed Forces.

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Vitol Resolves Net $90 Million FCPA Enforcement Action For Conduct In Brazil, Ecuador And Mexico

vitol

Last week the DOJ announced that Vitol Inc., the U.S. affiliate of the Vitol group of companies, which together form one of the largest energy trading companies in the world, agreed to resolve a net $90 million FCPA enforcement action for conduct in Brazil, Ecuador and Mexico.

As noted in the DOJ release (and as will be explored in a future post) “Vitol has also agreed to disgorge more than $12.7 million to the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) in a related matter and to pay the CFTC a penalty of $16 million related to trading activity not covered” by the DOJ enforcement action.

Under the heading “The Brazil Bribery Scheme” this criminal information alleges:

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In A Highly Unusual Development, DOJ Brings A $19.6 Million Enforcement Action Against Beam Approximately 2.5 Years After The SEC’s Related Action

Beam

DOJ and SEC Foreign Corrupt Practices Act enforcement actions against issuers based on the same core conduct are relatively common. However, such actions are nearly always coordinated and announced on the same day.

In a highly unusual (although not unprecedented) development, the DOJ announced yesterday a $19.6 million FCPA enforcement action against Beam Suntory Inc. based on the same core conduct in India at issue in the SEC’s July 2018 FCPA enforcement action against the company (see here).

Another unusual aspect of the Beam DOJ action was the DOJ’s position that the company did not voluntarily disclose. In contrast, in the 2018 SEC enforcement action the SEC said that the company voluntarily disclosed.

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