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Ng Files Motion To Dismiss

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As highlighted in this prior post, in November 2018 the DOJ criminally charged former Goldman Sachs executives Tim Leissner and Ng Chong Hwa (Roger Ng) (along with Low Taek Jho – Jho Low) with Foreign Corrupt Practices Act offenses for paying bribes to various Malaysian and Abu Dhabi officials in connection with 1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB), Malaysia’s state-owned and state-controlled investment development company.

Leissner pleaded guilty and in October Goldman Sachs resolved a net $1.66 billion FCPA enforcement action based on the same conduct. (See additional posts here and here).

Ng is mounting a defense and recently filed this motion to dismiss (an entire section of which is redacted). As highlighted below, Ng argues that the DOJ’s case against him suffers from several factual errors and legal deficiencies. Ng also suggests that the DOJ scripted Leissner’s guilty plea and that Goldman’s DPA was entered into for reasons of risk aversion and otherwise compromises his ability to defend himself.

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Observations From The OECD’s Phase 4 U.S. Review Report

oecd

Recently, the OECD released its Phase 4 review of the United State’s implementation of the OECD Anti-Bribery Convention … in effect a review of the FCPA, its enforcement, and related issues.

The first question one needs to ask themselves is whether they care what “experts from Argentina and the United Kingdom” (as stated by the OECD “the report and its recommendations reflect the findings of experts from Argentina and the United Kingdom”) think about the U.S. Foreign Corrupt Practices Act, U.S. law enforcement (DOJ and SEC) policies and practices, and U.S. jurisprudence.

In any event, the Phase 4 Report “explores issues such as detection, enforcement, corporate liability, and international cooperation, as well as covering unresolved issues from prior reports.” (See here for a 2010 post summarizing the OECD’s Phase 3 review).

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The UK Serious Fraud Office 2020 Deferred Prosecution Agreement Guidance: Something Old and Something New

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A guest post from Gibson Dunn attorneys Sacha Harber-Kelly and Steve Melrose.

Mr. Harber-Kelly is a former prosecutor at the SFO and was appointed to lead the SFO’s engagement in the cross-governmental working group which devised the DPA legislative framework, and subsequently appointed to draft the DPA Code of Practice, which sets out how prosecutors will operate the DPA regime.

On October 23, 2020, the UK Serious Fraud Office published a new chapter from its internal Operational Handbook, which it describes as “comprehensive guidance on how we approach Deferred Prosecution Agreements (DPAs), and how we engage with companies where a DPA is a prospective outcome.”

At the time of its publication, the Director of the SFO, Lisa Osofsky, remarked, “Publishing this guidance will provide further transparency on what we expect from companies looking to co-operate with us.” Director Osofsky’s full remarks are here.

The 2020 DPA Guidance (“the Guidance”) is here.

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From The Dockets

Judicial Decision

This post summarizes a strange state law claim filed by a former Walmart attorney and recent decision by a federal court judge concluding that resolving a Foreign Corrupt Practices Act enforcement action through a deferred prosecution agreement does not constitute a conviction.

Walmart Matter

Recently Shane Perry (a former Walmart attorney who worked on Walmart’s internal FCPA investigation in Mexico in 2011 and later became the Ethics Officer for Walmart de Mexico) filed this lawsuit in Arkansas state court claiming that on July 6, 2017 “he was terminated in a ruthless fashion based on information carelessly gathered and processed at the orders of senior management for punishment and retaliation.”

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OECD Report On Non-Trial Resolutions Contains Mounds Of Data, But Punts On The Pressing Questions

oecd

Recently, the OECD released this report titled “Resolving Foreign Bribery Cases with Non-Trial Resolutions.” As stated in the report “non-trial resolutions refer to a wide range of mechanisms used to resolve criminal matters without a full court proceeding, based on an agreement between an individual or a company and a prosecuting or another authority.” This term is obviously broad and covers a range of alternatives and there is little in common with a plea agreement compared to a non-prosecution agreement.

The 200+ page report and its six chapters contain mounds of comparative information and data that will likely be of interest to anyone interested in how foreign bribery enforcement actions are resolved.

Yet despite this data dump, the report punts on several pressing questions associated with alternative resolution vehicles. This is hardly surprising given that “the country mentors who provided guidance and contributed to the drafting” of the report were largely government officials including DOJ, SEC and U.K. SFO personnel.

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