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BAE – The Circus Continues

Just when you think the final circus wagon has left the station, the BAE bribery, yet no bribery circus continues to keep on giving.

As I posted earlier this week (here), debarment issues clearly drove resolution of this prosecution as demonstrated by the DOJ’s sentencing memorandum. That post also noted that the U.S. Attorneys’ Manual specifically states that “where the corporation was engaged in fraud against the government […], a prosecutor may not negotiate away an agency’s right to debar or delist the corporate defendant” – a relevant fact given that both the DOJ release announcing resolution of the BAE matter, as well as the sentencing memorandum, expressly state that BAE “defrauded” the U.S.

Today’s circus act has to do with the magician’s uncanny ability to make things disappear and concerns the State Department’s treatment of BAE’s license applications.

The FCPA Blog today (see here) profiles a DefenseNews article (here) and notes that the” first debarment notice posted on the State Department’s website Monday was withdrawn and a second notice was changed at least once and then also withdrawn.”

Defense News quoted a Washington trade lawyer as saying:

One notice Monday, another one Tuesday, and now they’re both down. Which is it, guys? What State has done sends a terrible message. It makes it seem like State does not have a handle on what it wants to do – or that it’s being manipulated by outside interests.

***

For Christopher Matthews’ (Main Justice) first-hand account of how the judge, prosecution and defense all carefully avoided talking about the FCPA bribery element in the room at Monday’s hearing, see here. Matthews notes that BAE’s lawyer specifically requested “that the record reflect that BAE did not know payments would be used for bribes, only that there was a high probability they might be used in that fashion.”

BAE – Every Circus Has A Final Act

Today in a Washington D.C. courtroom, U.S. District Judge John D. Bates had authority, pursuant to Rule 11 of the Federal Rules of Criminal Procedure, to reject the BAE plea agreement (see here).

However, as district court judges often do, Judge Bates “rubber-stamped” the plea agreement according to this first-hand account by Christopher Matthews at Main Justice.

In allowing the BAE “bribery yet no bribery” circus to leave town, Judge Bates reportedly said that the plea agreement was “fully reflective” of BAE’s crimes. This is surely subject to debate and for prior acts in this circus (see here).

According to the DOJ’s Release (see here), BAE pleaded guilty today to “conspiring to defraud the United States by impairing and impeding its lawful functions, to make false statements about its FCPA compliance program, and to violate the Arms Export Control Act and International Traffic in Arms Regulations” and was sentenced to “pay a $400 million criminal fine, one of the largest criminal fines in the history of DOJ’s ongoing effort to combat overseas corruption in international business and enforce U.S. export control laws.”

The DOJ’s release continues to reference BAE’s non-bribery, bribery allegations. See here for a prior post.

So too does the government’s sentencing memorandum (see here). Should you be wondering whether national security and/or debarment issues drove resolution of this prosecution, you may want to check it out.

One immediately sees that the National Security Division (“NSD”) played a role in the BAE case. According to its website: “[t]he mission of the National Security Division is to carry out the Department’s highest priority: to combat terrorism and other threats to national security.” (see here).

Among other things, the Sentencing Memorandum repeats the government’s non-bribery, bribery allegations.

Relevant quotes include: “BAE made some third party payments while aware that there was a high probability that part of the funds would be passed on to a foreign government official to influence a decision in favor of BAES” and that “BAES made other payments aware that there was a high probability that the payments would be used to influence government decision makers in the purchase of defense materials.”

In addressing relevant factors under the Principles of Federal Prosecution of Business Organizations (see here), the government notes that these payments: were “a major and longstanding business strategy replete with corruption risk; “were pervasive across the Company, covered numerous markets, and lasted for decades; “were tolerated or condoned up to the highest corporate levels; and that “corporate leadership created the structures” for the payments “in order to frustrate investigations and avoid identification of those payments to and through marketing advisers.”

And then there is this relevant paragraph regarding collateral consequences:

– “Europen Union Directive 2004/18/EC, which has recently been enacted in all EU countries through implementing legislation, provides that companies convicted of corruption offenses shall (emphasis in original) be mandatorily excluded from government contracts.”

– “BAES’s business is primarily from government contracts, including with several EU customers.”

– “Mandatory exclusion under EU debarment regulations is unlikely in light of the nature of the charge to which BAES is pleading. Discretionary debarment will presumably be considered and determined by various suspension and debarment officials.”

– “The Department will communicate with U.S. debarment and regulatory authorities, and relevant foreign authorities, if requested to do so, regarding the nature of the offense of which BAES has been convicted, the conduct engaged in by BAES, its remediation efforts, and the facts relevant to an assessment of whether BAES is presently a responsible government contractor.”

The Sentencing Memorandum also notes that “[i]ndividuals responsible for criminal activities may be beyond reach of U.S. authorities based on U.S. statute of limitations or jurisdictional limitations.”

Now that the curtain has closed on this circus and the elephants and monkeys are back in their cages, it is worthwhile to take a step back and analyze how DOJ prosecutors are supposed to resolve corporate criminal liability through plea agreements.

The Principles of Prosecution, part of the U.S. Attorneys’ Manual, state: “[i] negotiating plea agreements with corporations, as with individuals, prosecutors should generally seek a plea to the most serious, readily provable offense charged.”

Additional commentary states that a “corporation should generally be required to plead guilty to the most serious, readily provable offense charged;” that a “corporation should be made to realize that pleading guilty to criminal charges constitutes an admission of guilt and not merely a resolution of an inconvenient distraction from it business;” and that “where the corporation is a government contractor, permanent or temporary debarment may be appropriate” and “where the corporation was engaged in fraud against the government […], a prosecutor may not negotiate away an agency’s right to debar or delist the corporate defendant.”

This last clause, part of the U.S. Attorneys’ Manual, seems particularly relevant here given that the DOJ release and the Sentencing Memorandum both expressly state that BAE “defrauded” the U.S.

Sections 9-27.400-530 of the U.S. Attorneys’ Manual supplement the above corporate specific provisions by setting forth information relevant to “Selecting Plea Agreement Charges.”

Among other things, this section notes: “the defendant should be required to plead to a charge or charges” “that is the most serious readily provable charge consistent with the nature and extent of his/her criminal conduct” and “that has an adequate factual basis.” Commentary notes that “except in unusual circumstances, this charge will be the most serious one.”

It sure seems, per the government’s own evidence, that there was a more serious readily provable charge against BAE. But all things, even the circus, must come to an end, so perhaps this was one of those “except in unusual circumstances” type of cases.

The BAE circus is still playing out across the Atlantic and the next post will discuss how various public interest organizations, subject to less restrictive “standing” rules than here in the U.S. for challenging agency decisions, are challenging the SFO’s plea agreement with BAE.

BAE

In a joint enforcement action that is sure to generate much discussion and controversy, the U.K. Serious Fraud Office (SFO) and the U.S. DOJ announced today resolution of an enforcement action against BAE Systems.

The SFO announced (here) that it has “reached an agreement with BAE systems that the company will plead guilty” to the offense of “failing to keep reasonably accurate accounting records in relation to its activities in Tanzania.”

BAE’s press release (here) notes that “[i]n connection with the sale of a radar system by the Company to Tanzania in 1999, the Company made commission payments to a marketing adviser and failed to accurately record such payments in its accounting records. The Company failed to scrutinise these records adequately to ensure that they were reasonably accurate and permitted them to remain uncorrected. The Company very much regrets and accepts full responsibility for these past shortcomings.”

The SFO and company release note that BAE will pay a £30 million penalty “comprising a fine to be determined by the Court with the balance paid as a charitable payment for the benefit of Tanzania.”

In a strange turn of events, the SFO also announced (here) that it has withdrawn charges filed last week (see here) against a former agent charged with “conspiracy to corrupt” and for “conspiring with others to give or agree to give corrupt payments […] to unknown officials and other agents of certain Eastern and Central European governments, including the Czech Republic, Hungary and Austria as inducements to secure, or as rewards for having secured, contracts from those governments for the supply of goods to them, namely SAAB/Gripen fighter jets, by BAE Systems Plc.”

The SFO release notes that “[t]his decision brings to an end the SFO’s investigations into BAE’s defence contracts.”

So what happened to the charges and allegations involving certain Eastern and Central European governments, including the Czech Republic, Hungary, and Austria?

Good question.

Much like the wave of magician’s wand, they have simply disappeared.

Closer to home, the DOJ announced that it:

“filed a criminal charge (here) in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia against BAE Systems plc charging that the multinational defense contractor conspired to impede the lawful functions of the Departments of Defense and State, made false statements to the Departments of Defense and Justice about establishing an effective anti-corruption compliance program to ensure conformance with the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act and paid hundreds of millions of dollars in undisclosed commission payments in violation of U.S. export control laws.”

The DOJ and BAE release note that the company “will pay a fine of $400 million and make additional commitments concerning its ongoing compliance.”

According to the DOJ release (which is available through the DOJ Office of Public Affairs, but not yet publicly posted on DOJ’s website) “BAE Systems is charged with intentionally failing to put appropriate, anti-bribery preventative measures in place, contrary to the representations it made to the United States government, and then making hundreds of millions of dollars in payments to third parties, while knowing of a high probability that money would be passed on to foreign government decision makers to favor BAE in the award of defense contracts. BAE Systems allegedly failed to disclose these payments to the State Department, as it was required to do so under U.S. laws and regulations in order to get necessary export licenses.”

The bold language above would expose most companies to an FCPA enforcement action, but BAE is no ordinary company. It is a major defense contractor on both sides of the Atlantic (as noted in the criminal information “in 2008, BAE was the largest defense contractor in Europe and the fifth largest in the U.S. as measured by sales”).

You can bet that these charges were the subject of much negotiation so as to not upset current or future government contracts as well as foreign policy issues and concerns.

The BAE charges and thus similar to those against Siemens in December 2008. In that case, despite the company engaging in bribery “unprecedented in scale and geographic scope” and despite the company being one in which “bribery was nothing less than standard operating procedure” (both direct DOJ quotes), the company avoided FCPA antibribery charges. (See here for prior posts about Siemens).

These two cases seriously raise the issue of whether certain companies in certain industries are simply “above” the FCPA.

Can the enforcement agencies on both sides of the Atlantic say with a straight face that this case was merely about improper record keeping, making false statements to the government, and export licenses?

Transparency, corporate accountability, and indeed a criminal justice system all suffered setbacks today.

The FCPA suffered a black-eye as well and one would be right to ask, “what the heck is going on here!”

Siemens … The Year After

One year ago this week, Siemens agreed to pay $800 million in combined U.S. fines and penalties to settle FCPA charges for a pattern of bribery the Department of Justice (“DOJ”) termed “unprecedented in scale and geographic scope.” (see here).

The charged conduct involved improper payments to obtain or retain (among other business) transportation, telecommunication, energy and health sector contracts in (among other places) Argentina, China, Mexico, Nigeria, Russia, and Venezuela.

According to the DOJ, for much of Siemens’ operations around the world, “bribery was nothing less than standard operating procedure.” Because Siemens (a German-based company) has shares listed on a U.S. stock exchange and because certain of the improper conduct had a U.S. nexus, the company was subject to the FCPA.

The Siemens matter easily remains the largest and most high-profile FCPA matter since the law was enacted in 1977.

Yet, on the same day Siemens agreed to resolve the FCPA matter, the company also announced that a U.S. government agency issued a formal determination declaring Siemens a “responsible contractor.” This designation assisted Siemens in continuing to do business with the U.S. government even though an entity found in violation of the FCPA may be barred from doing business with the federal government under Office of Management and Budget guidelines. (see here).

In the year since resolution of the Siemens FCPA matter, the U.S. government continues to do substantial business with the company it recently charged with engaging in a pattern of bribery “unprecedented in scale and geographic scope.”

This U.S. government business has helped Siemens outperform its competitors in a difficult recessionary environment and much of the company’s recent success is the direct result of government stimulus programs around the world.

Reacting to these government stimulus programs, Siemens executives stated that the company was in “an excellent position to generate additional business.” In June 2009, Siemens issued a press release noting that “the shares of the stimulus program that Siemens can address are the largest in the U.S.” (see here). Siemens’ executives proclaimed that the government stimulus programs should have a “stabilizing effect on our business.”

On such “stabilizing effect” on Siemens’ business has been the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, the $787 billion stimulus bill passed by Congress and signed by President Obama in February 2009 to stimulate the American economy.

According to Recovery.gov (see here) (a U.S. government website designed “to allow taxpayers to see precisely what entities receive Recovery money ..”), Siemens’ business units have already been awarded several dozen contracts funded by U.S. taxpayer stimulus dollars. These contracts have been awarded by the following government agencies: Department of Defense, Department of the Air Force, Department of the Army, Department of Transportation, Department of Health and Human Services, Department of Energy, Department of Commerce, Department of Housing and Urban Development, and the General Services Administration.

According to Recovery.gov, even the DOJ (i.e. the same government agency that prosecuted Siemens less than 365 days ago for a pattern of bribery the agency termed “unprecedented in scale and geographic scope”) awarded a Siemens business unit a contract funded with stimulus dollars.

It is not just the federal government that continues to do business with Siemens in the immediate aftermath of its unprecedented bribery scandal. Since December 2008, Siemens’ business units have also been awarded: a $135 million service contract with the University of Pennsylvania Health System (see here); a $205 million order for light rail vehicles from the San Diego Metropolitan Transit System (see here); and a $140 million energy contract from the Northern California Power Agency (see here).

Siemens business with the U.S. government (and other units of government) in the immediate aftermath of its unprecedented bribery scandal raises several questions.

Does it even matter, aside from the fines/penalties and associated costs of getting caught, if a company violates the FCPA?

The above information suggests that the answer is no, so the question becomes should it matter? Should U.S. taxpayer dollars be awarded to a company which less than 365 days ago settled a bribery scandal “unprecedented in scale and geographic scope”?

The DOJ frequently speaks about deterrence as being a primary function of FCPA enforcement. But what deterrence is there when an FCPA violator (let alone the most egregious violator in the history of the FCPA) can immediately get U.S. government business, including from the same government agency that prosecuted it for violating the FCPA? Can FCPA enforcement ever be effective if Siemens is the template for future enforcement?

Siemens post-scandal business with the U.S. government also raises the question of whether Siemens secured the contracts at issue in the FCPA enforcement action, not because of the payments, but simply because Siemens offered the best products for the best prices?

Is this the reason the U.S. government continues to do business with Siemens in the immediate aftermath of its unprecedented bribery scandal? If so, what does this say about the rhetoric that accompanies a typical FCPA enforcement action (i.e. the company bribed to get business)?

Was the DOJ’s FCPA Enforcement Action Against Siemens Award-Worthy?

That’s the question I have after reading that the DOJ recently awarded distinguished service awards to eight individuals involved in its Siemens FCPA enforcement action.

First, let me be clear. With the post, I mean no disrespect to the award recipients – I used to work with one recipient, and I congratulate all the recipients for the recognition received by their employer. Rather, my post is a commentary on DOJ’s enforcement of the FCPA.

With that out of the way, let’s return to the question – was the DOJ’s FCPA enforcement action against Siemens award-worthy?

The DOJ press release announcing the awards (see here) states that all DOJ award recipients (not just those receiving an award in connection with the Siemens matter) have “advanced the interests of justice on behalf of the American people.”

As to the recipients specifically receiving an award in connection with the Siemens FCPA enforcement matter, the press release states:

“The department’s investigation uncovered evidence of hundreds of millions of dollars of corrupt payments in dozens of countries spanning several decades, and in virtually every Siemens operating group and region. The Department’s prosecution was announced simultaneously and coordinated with a civil enforcement action by the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) and a criminal prosecution by the Munich Public Prosecutor’s Office, resulting in overall sanctions of more than $1.6 billion. The Department of Justice’s coordination of its settlement not only with the SEC, but also with a foreign regulator sets a new standard in international cooperation and coordination, and serves as a model for future global anti-corruption enforcement.”

In Attorney General Holder’s speech at the actual awards ceremony (see here), he said to the award recipients:

“… you have not just my sincere gratitude, but the knowledge that you have all truly done justice on behalf of the American people.”

Using Holder’s words to thus ask the question – did the DOJ’s FCPA enforcement action against Siemens “advance[] the interests of justice on behalf of the American people?”

In FCPA terms – did the DOJ’s FCPA enforcement action against Siemens represent a “red-letter” day (i.e. a good day for FCPA enforcement) or a “black-letter” day (i.e. a bad day for FCPA enforcement)?

Reasonable minds may differ as to the answer, but for the reasons stated below, I submit that DOJ’s FCPA enforcement action against Siemens was a “black-letter” day in the history of FCPA enforcement – a farcical facade of enforcement if ever there was such a thing. Surely not an award-worthy event.

First, some background.

In December 2008, Siemens (a global corporation organized under the laws of Germany with shares listed on the New York Stock Exchange since March 2001) agreed to pay $800 million in combined fines and penalties to settle FCPA charges for a pattern of bribery the Department of Justice (“DOJ”) termed “unprecedented in scale and geographic scope.” The combined fines and penalties were easily the largest ever levied against an FCPA violator.

Resolution of the FCPA charges against Siemens (and its affiliates) included both DOJ and Securities and Exchange Commission (“SEC”) enforcement actions.

Because this post is about the DOJ awards, and more broadly DOJ FCPA enforcement, the below background information relates only to the DOJ enforcement action. (See here for all DOJ material related to the enforcement action including the criminal informations against Siemens and its affiliates, the DOJ plea agreement and sentencing memo, the DOJ news release and a transcript of the DOJ press conference).

In the DOJ enforcement action, Siemens pleaded guilty to a two-count criminal information charging violations of the FCPA’s books and records and internal control provisions. The criminal information describes approximately $1.36 billion in payments Siemens made through various mechanisms, including approximately $555 million paid for unknown purposes (including approximately $341 million in direct payments to business consultants for unknown purposes) and approximately $806 million intended, in whole or in part, as corrupt payments to foreign officials.

According to the DOJ, for much of Siemens operations around the world “bribery was nothing less than standard operating procedure” and the criminal information details improper conduct in various of Siemens operating groups and subsidiaries around the world, several of which had offices in the U.S.

In conjunction with the filing of the Siemens’ criminal information, the DOJ also filed separate criminal informations against Siemens’ subsidiaries in Argentina, Bangladesh and Venezuela charging each with conspiracy to violate the FCPA’s anti-bribery provisions and books and records provisions in connection with projects in those countries.

The total criminal penalty was $450 million (a $448.5 million fine against Siemens and a $500,000 fine against each of the three subsidiaries).

In agreeing to fines and penalties below the maximum $2.7 billion available under the advisory U.S. Sentencing Guidelines, the DOJ noted that resolution of the matter reflected, in large part, Siemens’ actions in disclosing the conduct at issue to U.S. enforcement agencies after German authorities searched its offices and after Siemens conducted an extensive internal investigation. The DOJ specifically noted, among other things, the company’s “extraordinary” cooperation in connection with its investigation (and the investigations of foreign law enforcement agencies), the “unprecedented” scope of the company’s internal investigation which included virtually all aspects of its worldwide operations, and the significant remedial measures the company has undertaken.

With that background out of the way, and before returning to the ultimate question, is it really accurate for the DOJ to say that it “uncovered evidence of hundreds of millions of dollars of corrupt payments in dozens of countries spanning several decades, and in virtually every Siemens operating group and region?”

Use of the self-congratulatory term “uncovered” would seem a bit distorted given that the DOJ itself noted that “[t]he resolution of the U.S. criminal investigation of Siemens AG and its subsidiaries reflects, in large part, the actions of Siemens AG and its audit committee in disclosing potential FCPA violations to the Department after the Munich Public Prosecutor’s Office initiated searches of multiple Siemens AG offices and homes of Siemens AG employees.” (see here at p. 3).

Whether DOJ “uncovered” Siemens conduct or not is besides the point. The question remains – was the DOJ’s FCPA enforcement action against Siemens award-worthy?

An initial reaction is most likely – “why of course, handing down the largest ever criminal penalty under the FCPA is indeed award-worthy and a good day for FCPA enforcement.”

But, is agreeing to a $450 million criminal penalty when the advisory U.S. Sentencing Guidelines set forth a penalty range of $1.35 – $2.7 billion based on the alleged conduct award-worthy? (See DOJ Sentencing Memo here at p. 12). Is agreeing to a criminal penalty approximately 33% of the amount available under the guidelines (on the low end) and approximately 16% of the amount available (on the high end) “advanc[ing] the interests of justice on behalf of the American people?” If the answer is yes, what then does this say about the guidelines’ formula for calculating criminal fines?

But, regardless of the guidelines, is agreeing to a $450 million criminal penalty when, per the DOJ, Siemens’ corrupt or questionable payments totaled $1.36 billion award-worthy? Is agreeing to a criminal penalty approximately 33% of the amount of the actual improper or questionable payments “advanc[ing] the interests of justice on behalf of the American people?”

But, is agreeing to a $500,000 fine based on allegations of making over $31 million in corrupt payments in exchange for favorable business treatment in connection with a $1 billion project in Argentina award-worthy? Is agreeing to a criminal penalty approximately 2% of the amount of the actual corrupt payments “advanc[ing] the interests of justice on behalf of the American people?”

But, is agreeing to a $500,000 fine based on allegations of making over $18 million in corrupt payments in exchange for favorable business treatment in connection with two major metropolitian mass transit projects in Venezuela award-worthy? Is agreeing to a criminal penalty approximately 3% of the amount of the actual corrupt payments “advanc[ing] the interests of justice on behalf of the American people.”

But, is agreeing to a $500,000 fine based on allegations of making over $5 million in corrupt payments in exchange for favorable treatment during the bidding process on a mobile telephone project in Bangladesh award-worthy? Is agreeing to a criminal penalty approximately 10% of the amount of the actual corrupt payments “advanc[ing] the interests of justice on behalf of the American people?”

Numbers, schulmbers you may be saying.

OK fine, but here is the real-kicker in my mind. Despite the DOJ’s rhetoric – that Siemens engaged in bribery that was “unprecedented in scale and geographic scope” and that Siemens was a company where “bribery was nothing less than standard operating procedure” you will not find anywhere in the DOJ’s enforcement action against Siemens FCPA anti-bribery charges!

If ever facts were deserving of an FCPA anti-bribery charge, would it not be the Siemens facts? Per the DOJ’s information charging Siemens with FCPA books and records and internal controls only, the essential elements of an anti-bribery charge would seem to be present. Among other relevant facts, beginning in March 2001, Siemens became an “issuer” and thus subject to the FCPA’s anti-bribery provisions and certain of its subsidiaries involved in the improper payments had offices in the U.S.

Yet, one will not find FCPA anti-bribery charges in the DOJ’s enforcement action against Siemens despite the company being engaged in a bribery scheme that was “unprecedented in scale and geographic scope” and Siemens being a company where “bribery was nothing less than standard operating procedure.”

Is the exercise of prosecutorial discretion in this instance, in the face of these facts, award-worthy and an example of “advanc[ing] the interests of justice on behalf of the American people?”

I submit that the answer to all of these above questions is a resounding NO and that DOJ’s FCPA enforcement action against Siemens was a “black-letter” day in the history of FCPA enforcement – a farcical facade of enforcement if ever there was such a thing. Surely not an award-worthy event.

Those who frequent this blog are well aware of my frequent criticisms of DOJ/SEC FCPA enforcement as being too aggressive most often where DOJ/SEC advance untested legal theories resulting in an enforcement action being settled even though it is questionable as to whether the elements of an anti-bribery violation are even met.

However, I submit that the FCPA is a fundamentally sound statute when enforced by DOJ/SEC in a way that is consistent with Congressional intent (i.e. when the facts applied to the law results in all the elements of an anti-bribery violation being met).

In these cases, an FCPA violator ought to be punished and punished aggressively to deter others from engaging in bribery “unprecedented in scale and geographic scope” and operating a company where “bribery [is] nothing less than standard operating procedure.”

I understand that cooperation means something in corporation criminal resolutions and I understand that Siemens, in addition to paying an SEC fine, paid fines in other jurisdictions (most notably in Germany).

I also understand that justice is probably not served when criminal fines and penalties force a company into bankruptcy.

Nevertheless, given the figures above, it is disturbing to see how Siemens ended up paying significantly less in DOJ criminal fines than the actual amount of the corrupt or questionable payments. In other words, even after payment of the $450 million DOJ criminal fine, Siemens appears to have profited, rather handsomely, from the bribery scheme that was “unprecedented in scale and geographic scope.”

And consider this.

During the five year period (2004-2008), a period which does not even cover the entire time frame of Siemens’ “unprecedented” bribery scheme, its net income was approximately $28.3 billion (after a currency conversion) (see here). Given these numbers, is a $450 million criminal fine even noteworthy, let alone award-worthy?

The final act in this comedy would seem to be this.

Earlier this year, a few weeks after DOJ termed Siemens’ bribery “unprecedented in scale and geographic scope” and Siemens as a company where “bribery was nothing less than standard operating procedure” the company issued a new release (see here) announcing that:

“the lead agency for U.S. federal government contracts, the Defense Logistics Agency (DLA), issued a formal determination that Siemens remains a responsible contractor for U.S. government business.”

If Siemens is a “responsible” contractor, I can’t imagine a set of facts which would lead the DLA to conclude that a company is an “irresponsible” contractor for U.S. government business!

So what do you think – was the DOJ’s FCPA enforcement action against Siemens award-worthy or did it represent a farcical facade of enforcement?

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