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An Episode Of White Collar Briefly

WhiteCollarBriefly

Today’s post is a recent episode of White Collar Briefly, a podcast sponsored by Perkins Coie and co-sponsored by the ABA Global Anti-Corruption Corruption.

During the podcast, I had the pleasure to visit with Chelsea Curfman and Markus Funk and talked about the following issues: my professional background; the evolution of my work; FCPA Inc.; the revolving door between the DOJ and SEC and private FCPA practice; what the end game of FCPA enforcement is and what does success actually mean; the downside of other countries modeling enforcement of their FCPA-like laws on U.S. FCPA enforcement; the lack of individual enforcement actions in connection with most corporate enforcement actions; whether FCPA enforcement will change in a Biden administration; voluntary disclosure; and whether there are any recent trends in FCPA enforcement.

This Is Why FCPA Inc. Needs A Common Language

confusion

For years, these pages have highlighted the need for a Foreign Corrupt Practices Act common language as to the basic question of “what is an FCPA enforcement action?” (See herehereherehere).

This article titled “A Common Language to Remedy Distorted FCPA Enforcement Statistics” exposes in detailed fashion various distorted FCPA enforcement statistics. As highlighted in the article, the absence of a FCPA common language has numerous negative effects including infecting nearly all FCPA enforcement statistics.

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It Is Absolute BullSh*t To Assert That “Companies Are Now Paying An Average Of Half A Billion Dollars To Settle FCPA Enforcement Actions”

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This FCPA Blog post asserts “Companies are now paying an average of half a billion dollars to settle FCPA enforcement actions.”

This is absolute bullsh*t.

More FCPA fake news.

Set forth below are the actual FCPA settlement amounts from 2020 corporate enforcement actions.

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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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