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Corporate FCPA Enforcement In 2022 Compared To Prior Years

Statistical Analysis

This post, the first in a weeks-long year in review statistical feast on FCPA Professor, compares corporate FCPA enforcement in 2022 to prior years.

Keep the numbers in this post in mind when you see other 2022 FCPA enforcement statistics that use creative and haphazard counting methods or fail to use accurate or consistent math. (See here).

The most reliable and accurate way to keep FCPA enforcement statistics is by using the “core” approach which focuses on unique instances of FCPA scrutiny. The core approach does not distort FCPA enforcement statistics by double counting parallel DOJ and SEC actions involving the same core conduct announced on the same day nor does the core approach distort FCPA enforcement statistics by separately counting the sometimes unique ways the DOJ slices and dices corporate conduct between parent companies and subsidiaries.

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The Percentage Of SEC FCPA Enforcement Actions That Also Involve A DOJ Component

Statistical Analysis

The only category of actor that both the DOJ and SEC can bring a Foreign Corrupt Practices Act enforcement action against are “issuers” (the 78dd-1 portion of the FCPA).

The other two categories of actors covered by the FCPA, “domestic concerns” (78dd-2) and “persons other than issuers or domestic concerns” (78dd-3) are only subject to DOJ FCPA enforcement actions.

This post analyzes the percentage of SEC FCPA enforcement that also involve a DOJ component.

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Time Spent On The DOJ’s FCPA Website


I recently spent some time on the DOJ’s FCPA Website and looked at all “Enforcement Actions” involving individuals from 2018 to the present.

Many of the separately listed “Enforcement Actions” involve multiple individual defendants and some individual enforcement actions are listed in more than one year.

By my estimation though, the DOJ’s FCPA website – from 2018 to the present – contains information about 175 individuals and set forth below are some interesting statistics.

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The Percentage Of Corporate DOJ And SEC FCPA Enforcement Actions That Result From A Voluntary Disclosure


For at least 15 years the government has encouraged business organizations to voluntary disclosure conduct that violates the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act.

In more recent years, in 2012 the government sought in the FCPA Guidance to entice business organizations to voluntarily disclose by, among other things, highlighting six “anonymized examples of matters DOJ and SEC have declined to pursue” where a common thread was voluntary disclosure. In April 2016, it was the DOJ’s pilot program, an effort – in the words of the DOJ –  to “encourage voluntary corporate self-disclosure.” Thereafter, it was the November 2017 DOJ FCPA Corporate Enforcement policy which – in the words of the DOJ – was intended to provide “guidance and greater certainty for companies struggling with the question of whether to make voluntary disclosures of wrongdoing…”.

But what do the numbers show? What percentage of DOJ and SEC enforcement actions are the result of a voluntary disclosure? The below post provides the answers.

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Top 20 SEC Disgorgement Amounts


The Foreign Corrupt Practices Act contains specific penalty provisions for both violations of the anti-bribery and books and records and internal control provisions. However, in the FCPA’s modern era there has been a dramatic shift by the SEC away from the FCPA’s statutory penalties in most corporate enforcement action towards disgorgement.

The 2004 FCPA enforcement action against ABB is believed to be the first FCPA enforcement in which the SEC sought a disgorgement remedy.

Since then, the SEC has secured approximately $5.1 billion in disgorgement (and associated pre-judgment interest) in approximately 150 corporate enforcement actions. Set forth below is the current top 20 list of SEC disgorgement amounts.

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