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Potpourri

Potpourri

Deficient FCPA Reporting

In this New York Times article, journalists once again demonstrate their deficient FCPA knowledge. In reference to Microsoft’s possible purchase of TikTok and the potential of the U.S. Treasury receiving a portion of the sale, the article states: “In essence, the president is promising to orchestrate the kind of pay-to-play bounty that the United States prohibits companies from making to governments of other countries under the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act.”

However, the FCPA does not prohibit business organizations from providing things of value to foreign governments – just foreign officials. As stated in the U.S. government FCPA Guidance “”The FCPA prohibits payments to foreign officials, not to foreign governments.”

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The Selling Of Enforcement Officials Needs To Stop – For Profit Conference Firm Now Offering Virtual Access To DOJ And SEC Enforcement Officials

StopSign

This is certainly not the first time these pages have addressed this topic and of all the topics periodically discussed on these pages, this topic has received some of the most positive feedback.

For profit companies that host FCPA conferences are entitled to run their business as they see fit. However, when for profit companies use enforcement officials at the DOJ and SEC like commodities that are then marketed and sold to the public, this is where the line needs to be drawn.

It’s a disgraceful practice and it needs to stop. Moreover public officials need to stop allowing themselves to be used as pawns by for profit companies.

A common marketing device the conference companies use in hopes of driving attendance to their paid events is by touting the public officials who will speak at the event. With the current COVID-19 environment, large in-person events are not possible. Yet as highlighted below, a for profit conference firm is now marketing “virtual” access to our public officials to drive virtual attendance to their paid event.

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Friday Roundup

Roundup

Fear based marketing, not a victim, dismissed, and for the reading stack.

It’s all here in the Friday roundup.

Fear Based Marketing

Another example of lawyers trying to market the COVID-19 situation by asserting that “the novel and exigent circumstances brought on by the pandemic significantly increase companies’ risk exposure under the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act and global anti-bribery laws.”

The piece even uses the personal protective equipment hypothetical that not even top DOJ officials seemed to be concerned about. (See here).

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Coalition For Integrity Calls For Post-Employment Restrictions On FCPA Enforcement Attorneys And Greater Transparency In FCPA Enforcement

C4I

For nearly a decade, these pages have called for restrictions when DOJ / SEC FCPA enforcement attorneys with supervisory and discretionary authority leave the government for private practice careers devoted to the FCPA. (See here, here, here and here among other posts).

I was thus happy to see that the Coalition for Integrity (“C4I” – a non-profited devoted to combating corruption and promoting integrity in the public and private sectors) recently called for post-employment restrictions on DOJ and SEC FCPA enforcement attorneys who leave for private practices in this policy paper submitted to the OECD in connection with its Phase 4 Evaluation of the U.S. Implementation of the OECD Anti-Bribery Convention.

It is a bit ironic though as C4I has several individuals on its Board of Directors who left the DOJ / SEC for lucrative positions in FCPA Inc. including an individual who still describes himself as “the architect and key enforcement official of DOJ’s modern Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA) enforcement program.”

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