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Former Ericsson Executives Acquitted In Sweden

acquittal

In December 2019, Swedish telecom company Ericsson resolved a net $1.06 billion Foreign Corrupt Practices Act enforcement action. The enforcement action concerned conduct in Djibouti, China, Vietnam, Kuwait, Indonesia, and Saudi Arabia.

As to Djibouti, the DOJ alleged that various Ericsson employees “conspired and agreed with others to corruptly provide approximately $2,100,000 in bribe payments to, and for the benefit of, foreign officials in Djibouti, including Foreign Official 1 (described a high-ranking government official in the executive branch of the Djibouti government who had influence over decisions made by a state-owned telecommunications company), Foreign Official 2 (similarly described), and Foreign Official 3 (described as the CEO of the state-owned telecom company), in order to secure an improper advantage in order to obtain and retain business with Telecom Company and to win a contract valued at approximately €20,300,000 with Telecom Company (the “Telecom Company Contract”).”

Earlier this week, four former Ericsson executives were acquitted in Sweden concerning the same core conduct related to Djibouti. (See here and here for media coverage).

This is interesting.

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Friday Roundup

Roundup

Missing evidence, $10, and scrutiny alert.

It’s all here in the Friday roundup.

Missing Evidence?

In 2017 (in connection with an undercover string) the DOJ unsealed criminal charges against Joseph Baptiste (a retired U.S. Army Colonel, practicing dentist, and founder / president of a Maryland-based Haitian focused non-profit) for alleged Haitian bribery.  In 2018 the DOJ added criminal charges against Roger Boncy in connection with the same core conduct. (See here).

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Scrutiny Updates

scrutiny alert

Ericsson

In connection with the ongoing saga of Ericsson (see here for a recent post), the company recently disclosed:

“We are currently engaging with the Department of Justice (DOJ) regarding the breach notices it issued relating to the Deferred Prosecution Agreement. The resolution of these matters could result in a range of actions by DOJ, and may likely include additional monetary payments, the magnitude of which cannot at this time be reliably estimated. As this process is ongoing, we remain limited in what we can say about the historical events covered in the Iraq investigation and our ongoing engagement on the matter. We are fully committed to co-operating with the DOJ and our work to further strengthen our Ethics and Compliance program, controls and our culture remains a top priority. It was actually our improved compliance program that allowed us to identify the misconduct in Iraq that started at least back in 2011.”

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Ericsson “Ripple Effects”

Ripple

Prior posts hereherehere, and here covered the 2019 Foreign Corrupt Practices Act enforcement action against Ericsson resolved through a deferred prosecution agreement; how the DOJ in 2021 accused Ericsson of breaching its DPA obligations; recent reports suggesting that “Ericsson may have made payments to the ISIS terror organization to gain access to certain transport routes in Iraq;” and the recent release by the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists of the “Ericsson List.”

As highlighted here, most recently Ericsson disclosed: “On March 1, 2022, the DOJ informed Ericsson that the disclosure made by the company prior to the DPA about its internal investigation into conduct in Iraq in the period 2011 until 2019 was insufficient. Furthermore, it determined that the company breached the DPA by failing to make subsequent disclosure related to the investigation post-DPA.”

This post highlights certain ripple effects from the recent activity.

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