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The FCPA Repeat Offender Club Welcomes Tenaris

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In 2011, Tenaris S.A. (a company headquartered in Luxembourg with American Depository Receipts listed on the New York Stock Exchange) resolved an approximate $9 million Foreign Corrupt Practices Act enforcement action regarding conduct in Uzbekistan (see here for the prior post).

For several years, Tenaris has been under scrutiny for its relationship with Petrobras in Brazil and in October 2016 the company “voluntarily notified” the SEC and DOJ. (See here).

Yesterday, the FCPA Repeat Offender Club welcomed Tenaris to its growing membership as the SEC announced an approximate $78.1 million enforcement action against the company.

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Glencore Resolves An Approximately $443 Million Net FCPA Enforcement Action

glencore

In mid-2018 Glencore (a commodities company incorporated in the United Kingdom and headquartered in Switzerland disclosed that it was under scrutiny by the DOJ. (See here for the prior post).

Specifically, the company disclosed:

“Glencore Ltd, a subsidiary of Glencore plc, has received a subpoena dated 2 July, 2018 from the US Department of Justice to produce documents and other records with respect to compliance with the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act and United States money laundering statutes.  The requested documents relate to the Glencore Group’s business in Nigeria, the Democratic Republic of Congo and Venezuela from 2007 to present. Glencore is reviewing the subpoena and will provide further information in due course as appropriate.”

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Stericyle Resolves A Net $59 Million FCPA Enforcement Action

stericle

Stericycle (an Illinois based medical waste disposal company) has been under FCPA scrutiny since mid-2017 (See here).

As highlighted here, approximately two months ago the company disclosed that it had “reached agreements in principle with the DOJ and SEC.” Specifically, Stericycle disclosed:

Yesterday, the DOJ and SEC announced (here and here) a parallel FCPA enforcement action against Stericycle.

The DOJ enforcement action involved this criminal information charging Stericycle with  two counts of conspiracy to violate (1) the FCPA’s anti-bribery provisions, and (2) the FCPA’s books and records provision. The criminal charges were resolved via this deferred prosecution agreement pursuant to which Stericycle agreed to pay a net $35 million criminal penalty.

The SEC enforcement action involved this administrative order finding that Stericycle violated the FCPA’s anti-bribery, books and records, and internal controls provisions pursuant to which the company agreed to pay a net approximate $24 million in disgorgement and prejudgment interest.

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Bad Advertising – Ad Group WPP Resolves $19.2 Million FCPA Enforcement Action

WPP

Last Friday, the SEC announced that London-based WPP (the world’s largest advertising agency and a company with depositary shares traded on the New York Stock Exchange) agreed to resolve a $19.2 million Foreign Corrupt Practices Act enforcement action.

The enforcement action focused on WPP subsidiary conduct in India, China, Brazil and Peru.

In summary fashion, the SEC’s order finds:

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U.K. Companies Resolve Net $17.7 Million FCPA Enforcement Action Concerning Conduct In Brazil

WoodFoster

Approximately 7-10 years ago, a U.K. corporation (#1) engaged in alleged improper conduct with alleged Brazilian officials largely through a Brazilian intermediary company with the assistance of an Italian agent. Approximately 7 years ago, a different U.K. corporation (#2) acquired U.K. corporation #1 and then approximately 4 years ago another U.K. corporation (#3) acquired U.K. corporation #2.

And then, the U.S. government brought an FCPA enforcement action against U.K. corporation #1 because, at one time, the company had shares traded on NASDAQ – even though in connection with the same core conduct the U.K. Serious Fraud Office and Brazil law enforcement also brought an enforcement action.

That pretty much sums up last Friday’s net $17.7 million FCPA enforcement action against Amec Foster Wheeler Energy, which was acquired by Amec Plc in 2014, which in turn, was acquired by John Wood Group Plc in 2017.

The enforcement action was the first corporate FCPA enforcement action of the Biden administration and closed the approximate six month gap in corporate FCPA enforcement.

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