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DOJ FCPA Enforcement – 2020 Year In Review

DOJ

This recent post highlighted SEC Foreign Corrupt Practices Act enforcement against issuers in 2020.

Today’s post focuses on the other FCPA enforcement agency – the Department of Justice – and highlights various facts and figures relevant to DOJ FCPA enforcement in 2020 against business organizations. (See here for a similar post from 2019; here for a similar post from 2018; here from 2017, here from 2016, here from 2015, here from 2014, here from 2013, here from 2012, here from 2011, and here from 2010).

Settlement Amounts and Specifics

In 2020, the DOJ brought 8 corporate FCPA enforcement actions.

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Acting Deputy Ass’t AG Zink Talks Data, Cooperation, And Coordination

DOJ

Recently, Acting Deputy Assistant Attorney General Robert Zink delivered this virtual speech in which he talked about: (i) the DOJ’s use of data; and (ii) cooperation and coordination including the DOJ’s so-called “anti-piling” policy.

Zink also stated that “it’s important that the [DOJ Criminal] Division is held accountable by the public for its work—both good and bad.” Duly noted.

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Acting Assistant Attorney General Rabbitt Talks Enforcement Numbers

rabbitt

Earlier this week, Acting Assistant Attorney General Brian Rabbitt delivered this virtual speech at the FCPA’s annual dog and pony show (also know as the American Conference Institute’s FCPA conference).

As highlighted below, in the speech Rabbitt discussed, among other things, “the canard that white-collar enforcement — and FCPA enforcement in particular — has been lackluster during this administration.” As Rabbitt correctly stated: “nothing could be further from the truth.”

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Measured By This Goal, DOJ Policy Has Failed

failure3

Imagine a government enforcement agency unveiling an enforcement policy that had X as a stated goal and then nearly five years later, X occurred only 7% of the time.

The answer would seem clear: the goal of the enforcement policy failed.

As highlighted below, in releasing the 2016 FCPA Pilot Program and thereafter in 2017 in releasing the FCPA Corporate Enforcement Policy, the DOJ stated that a “main goal” was to encourage voluntary disclosures to permit prosecution of individuals. Yet, nearly five years later there have been FCPA prosecutions of individuals in only 7% of cases the DOJ has self-identified as being resolved pursuant to / or consistent with the Pilot Program or the CEP.

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