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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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Bad Advertising – Ad Group WPP Resolves $19.2 Million FCPA Enforcement Action

WPP

Last Friday, the SEC announced that London-based WPP (the world’s largest advertising agency and a company with depositary shares traded on the New York Stock Exchange) agreed to resolve a $19.2 million Foreign Corrupt Practices Act enforcement action.

The enforcement action focused on WPP subsidiary conduct in India, China, Brazil and Peru.

In summary fashion, the SEC’s order finds:

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U.K. Companies Resolve Net $17.7 Million FCPA Enforcement Action Concerning Conduct In Brazil

WoodFoster

Approximately 7-10 years ago, a U.K. corporation (#1) engaged in alleged improper conduct with alleged Brazilian officials largely through a Brazilian intermediary company with the assistance of an Italian agent. Approximately 7 years ago, a different U.K. corporation (#2) acquired U.K. corporation #1 and then approximately 4 years ago another U.K. corporation (#3) acquired U.K. corporation #2.

And then, the U.S. government brought an FCPA enforcement action against U.K. corporation #1 because, at one time, the company had shares traded on NASDAQ – even though in connection with the same core conduct the U.K. Serious Fraud Office and Brazil law enforcement also brought an enforcement action.

That pretty much sums up last Friday’s net $17.7 million FCPA enforcement action against Amec Foster Wheeler Energy, which was acquired by Amec Plc in 2014, which in turn, was acquired by John Wood Group Plc in 2017.

The enforcement action was the first corporate FCPA enforcement action of the Biden administration and closed the approximate six month gap in corporate FCPA enforcement.

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