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Interesting

Interesting

The SEC’s most recent Foreign Corrupt Practices Act enforcement action was against KT Corporation – a South Korea corporation – in February 2022. (See here and here for prior posts).

Prior to the that, was the SEC’s FCPA enforcement action against Credit Suisse – a Swiss Corporation (see here). Prior to that against WPP – a United Kingdom Corporation (see here). Prior to that Amec Foster Wheeler – a U.K. corporation and successor in interest to a Swiss corporation (see here). Prior to that Deutsche Bank – a German corporation (see here and here). In fact, all of the SEC’s corporate FCPA enforcement actions in 2021 were against foreign corporations.

If you are scoring at home, that’s five straight SEC corporate FCPA enforcement involving foreign companies.

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South Korea’s KT Corp. Resolves $6.3 Million FCPA Enforcement Action

KT

KT Corporation is a Seoul, South Korea based telecommunications company with American Depositary Shares registered with the SEC and traded on the New York Stock Exchange.

Yesterday, the SEC announced that the company agreed to pay $6.3 million “to resolve charges that it violated the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act by providing improper payments for the benefit of government officials in Korea and Vietnam.”

In summary fashion, this administrative order finds:

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A Focus On The DOJ’s Enforcement Action Against Credit Suisse

CS

Yesterday’s post highlighted the SEC’s recent $99 million Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (and related) enforcement action against Credit Suisse in connection with financing various projects in Mozambique.

As alluded to in the prior post, the DOJ also announced an enforcement action based on the same core conduct and charged Credit Suisse and a U.K. subsidiary with conspiracy to commit money laundering. After crediting amounts paid to the United Kingdom’s Financial Conduct Authority, Credit Suisse agreed to pay $175 million to resolve the DOJ matter while also agreeing to pay $200 million to the U.K. FCA. Because the DOJ’s enforcement action against Credit Suisse was not an FCPA enforcement action, it will not be captured in FCPA statistics published on this site. (After all, if FCPA enforcement statistics are to mean anything – they should only capture actual FCPA enforcement actions).

Nevertheless, the DOJ enforcement action is summarized below.

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Credit Suisse Resolves $99 Million SEC FCPA (And Related) Enforcement Action

CS

As highlighted here and here, in July 2018 Credit Suisse resolved a $77 million Foreign Corrupt Practices Act enforcement action focused on alleged improper hiring practices in China and the Asia Pacific region.

As highlighted here, in January 2019 the DOJ unsealed criminal charges against former Credit Suisse bankers Andrew Pearse, Surjan Singh, and Detelina Subeva charging them with conspiracy to violate the FCPA’s anti-bribery and internal controls provisions in connection with financing various Mozambican maritime projects.

This follow-up post wondered what the 2019 enforcement action would mean for Credit Suisse.

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Issues To Consider From The WPP Enforcement Action

Issues

This previous post highlighted the recent $19.2 million SEC Foreign Corrupt Practices Act enforcement action against London-based advertising agency WPP (a company with depositary shares traded on the New York Stock Exchange).

This post continues the analysis by highlighting additional issues to consider.

No Disclosure

Most issuers under FCPA scrutiny tend to disclose the scrutiny in SEC filings and thereafter disclose scrutiny developments in subsequent filings.

However, WPP appears to be a relatively rare example of an issuer not disclosing FCPA scrutiny.

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