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Potpourri

Potpourri

Deficient FCPA Reporting

In this New York Times article, journalists once again demonstrate their deficient FCPA knowledge. In reference to Microsoft’s possible purchase of TikTok and the potential of the U.S. Treasury receiving a portion of the sale, the article states: “In essence, the president is promising to orchestrate the kind of pay-to-play bounty that the United States prohibits companies from making to governments of other countries under the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act.”

However, the FCPA does not prohibit business organizations from providing things of value to foreign governments – just foreign officials. As stated in the U.S. government FCPA Guidance “”The FCPA prohibits payments to foreign officials, not to foreign governments.”

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Friday Roundup

Roundup

Scratch that trial, scrutiny alert, affirmed, follow-up, Braskem-related, and across the pond. It’s all here in the Friday roundup.

Scratch That Trial

One of the FCPA trials scheduled this Fall (see here for the prior post) involved Frank Chatburn. As highlighted here, in April 2018 Frank Roberto Chatburn Ripalda (a dual United States and Ecuadorian citizen) was criminally charged for conspiring with others for making corrupt payments to PetroEcuador officials in order to obtain and retain contracts for Galileo (described as an Ecuadorian company that provided services in the oil and gas industry) from PetroEcuador.

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Friday Roundup

Roundup

Whistleblower award, interesting observations, scrutiny update, why in the world, you lose some and you win some, and guilty plea. It’s all here in the Friday roundup.

Whistleblower Award

According to this report, “a former Brazilian surgeon who blew the whistle on a medical device company that allegedly bribed doctors to win business will get a $4.5 million award from U.S. regulators, according to his lawyers. The surgeon will get the money for playing a crucial role in helping the SEC uncover a bribery scandal at Biomet Inc. that spanned the globe. (See here for the SEC release).

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Issues To Consider From The Zimmer Biomet Enforcement Action

Issues

This previous post went in-depth into the $30.4 million Foreign Corrupt Practices Act enforcement action against Zimmer Biomet announced on January 12th.

This post highlights additional issues to consider.

Repeat Offender

Biomet is not the first company to be a repeat FCPA criminal offender, just the latest. Other criminal examples include Aibel Group / Vetco entities and Marubeni (and there several other examples involving SEC civil violations such as Orthofix Int’l recently becoming a repeat FCPA offender). To learn more about these examples, see the article “Measuring the Impact of NPAs and DPAs on FCPA Enforcement.”

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Biomet Becomes An FCPA Repeat Offender

zimmer

For many years, the DOJ has advanced the policy position that DPAs and NPAs “have had a truly transformative effect on particular companies and, more generally, on corporate culture across the globe.” (See here for the prior post). Specifically in the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act context, the DOJ has stated that “the companies against which DPAs and NPAs have been brought have often undergone dramatic changes.”  (See here for the prior post).

As highlighted here, in March 2012 Biomet resolved an FCPA enforcement action involving alleged conduct in Brazil, Argentina, and China by agreeing to pay approximately $22.8 million ($17.3 million via a DOJ deferred prosecution agreement, and $5.5 million via a settled SEC civil complaint).

Since then, FCPA Professor has chronicled (herehere and here) how Biomet’s DPA was extended, how the DOJ ultimately came to conclude that Biomet had breached its DPA based on subsequent improper conduct, and how an additional FCPA enforcement was expected.

Last week, the DOJ and SEC announced (here and here) the additional FCPA enforcement action against Zimmer Biomet Holdings (in 2015 Zimmer Holdings acquired Biomet) and Biomet. As highlighted below, a portion of the improper conduct involved the same distributor in Brazil that gave rise to the 2012 FCPA enforcement action.

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