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Acting Principal Deputy Assistant Attorney General Nicole Argentieri On ….

Argentieri

Yesterday Acting Principal Deputy Assistant Attorney General Nicole Argentieri delivered this speech at the annual FCPA dog and pony show.

Argentieri addressed four topics: (1) the DOJ “achievements this year in the fight against corruption and white collar crime; (2) how the DOJ is “actioning the recent corporate enforcement policies announced by the department — policies that built upon longstanding Criminal Division policies and practices in a space where the Criminal Division has long been a leader; (3) “the Criminal Division’s ongoing use of data analytics, and how we are expanding our use of data to enhance our FCPA enforcement efforts”; and (4) “an exciting new resource dedicated to deepening our international partnerships in key parts of the world that will enhance our ability to identify and prosecute foreign bribery offenses and allow us to generate new and impactful cases.”

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Acting Assistant Attorney General Argentieri On …

Argentieri

Another day, another speech by a DOJ official.

Recently, Acting Assistant Attorney General Nicole Argentieri delivered this speech in which she discussed the following topics: foreign law enforcement cooperation, corporate cooperation, compensation incentives and clawbacks, voluntary disclosure, and the DOJ’s recent “safe harbor” policy in connection with merger and acquisition activity.

Regarding foreign law enforcement cooperation, Argentieri stated:

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Glencore … In Its Own Words

justsaying

As highlighted here, in May 2022 Glencore (a commodities company incorporated in the United Kingdom and headquartered in Switzerland) resolved a net $443 million FCPA enforcement action.

According to the DOJ: “From at least in or about 2007 up to and including in or about 2018, Glencore, through certain of its employees and agents, while acting on behalf of Glencore, together with its co-conspirators, knowingly and willfully conspired and agreed with others to corruptly provide more than $100 million in payments and other things of value to various intermediaries with the intent that a significant portion of these payments would be used to pay bribes to and for the benefit of foreign officials to secure an improper advantage and to influence those foreign officials in order to obtain or retain business in Nigeria, Cameroon, Ivory Coast, Equatorial Guinea, Brazil, Venezuela, and the Democratic Republic of Congo.”

A recent sentencing submission by Glencore makes for an interesting read.

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Laughing Out Loud At Certain Portions Of SEC Chair Gensler’s Speech

Laughable

Yesterday, SEC Chair Gary Gensler delivered this speech.

I literally laughed out loud as to certain portions of Gensler’s speech.

I didn’t laugh because what Gensler said was unreasonable. To the contrary, much of what he said represents sound policy. Rather, I laughed  because I have closely followed SEC enforcement practices (and speeches from enforcement agency officials) for over a decade.

Gensler began his speech as follows:

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SEC Commissioner Calls The SEC’s Approach To Corporate Penalties “Fundamentally Flawed”

Crenshaw

In the FCPA’s modern era of enforcement, the bulk of SEC settlement amounts consist of disgorgement and prejudgment interest (See here). Stated differently (and although there have been a few notable exceptions), civil penalties are not a major feature of most corporate SEC Foreign Corrupt Practices Act enforcement actions.

Even so, SEC civil penalties can be FCPA relevant and it is thus interesting to note that SEC Commissioner Caroline Crenshaw (appointed by President Trump and sworn into office in August 2020) recently stated that the SEC’s historical practice of placing emphasis on factors beyond the actual misconduct when imposing corporate penalties is “fundamentally flawed.”

In this recent speech before the Council of Institutional Investors , Crenshaw began by stating how an SEC decision made 15 years (see here) “has taken us off course.”

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