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It Has Been Over 1.5 Years Since The SEC Has Brought An Individual FCPA Enforcement Action

waiting

One reason to take FCPA enforcement agency rhetoric with a grain of salt is because it is warranted.

For instance, the FCPA enforcement agencies often talk about the importance of x and how they are committed to x, but in reality rarely do x.

Case in point is SEC individual FCPA enforcement actions.

For many years, SEC enforcement officials have talked about the importance of individual FCPA enforcement actions and set forth below are representative quotes from over the years.

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Brothers Plead Guilty To FCPA And Related Charges In Connection With Ecuador Conduct At Issue In Sargeant Marine And Vitol Enforcement Actions

Ecuador

Keeping track of DOJ Foreign Corrupt Practices Act actions against individuals can sometimes be tricky.

Many individual actions are announced through DOJ press releases, but some enforcement actions are not and just quietly appear on a court docket.

For instance, you probably have not heard much about the FCPA enforcement action against brothers Enrique Pere Ycaza and Antonio Pere Ycaza.

The criminal informations (see here and here) were filed in October 2020: (i) shortly after the September 2020 FCPA enforcement action against Sargeant Marine Inc. (SMI – a Florida based asphalt company) (see here for the prior post) concerning conduct in Brazil, Venezuela and Ecuador; and (ii) shortly before the December 2020 FCPA enforcement action against Vitol (an energy trading company – see here for the prior post) concerning conduct in Brazil, Ecuador, and Mexico.

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DOJ Individual Actions: The Strange Public – Private Divide

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These pages track all sorts of Foreign Corrupt Practices Act statistics.

Some of the statistics are “inside baseball” like and other statistics (such as the long time periods associated with FCPA scrutiny or the general lack of individual enforcement actions in connection with most corporate enforcement actions) raise significant public policy issues and/or undermine government rhetoric.

The statistic discussed in this post fits all three categories: it is equal parts “inside baseball,” it raises significant public policy issues, it undermines government rhetoric, and moreover it is just plain strange.

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A Focus On SEC Individual Actions

SEC

This previous post highlighted various facts and figures from 2021 SEC FCPA enforcement actions against issuers.

This post focuses on SEC FCPA individual actions – both in 2021 and historically.

Like the DOJ, the SEC frequently speaks in lofty rhetoric concerning its focus on holding individuals accountable under the FCPA.

As highlighted here, in 2021 the SEC’s Chairman stated: “Accountability — whether individual or institutional — is an important part of the SEC’s enforcement agenda. We’ll use all of the tools in our toolkit to investigate wrongdoing and hold bad actors accountable …”.

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Former Corsa Coal VP And Head Of International Sales Pleads Guilty To Egypt Bribery Scheme

Cushmore

Corsa Coal Corp. is a publicly traded Pennsylvania-based coal mining company focused on the production and sales of metallurgical coal, an essential ingredient in the production of steel. It’s core business is producing and selling metallurgical coal to domestic and international steel and coke producers.

Between 2016 and 2020, Frederick Cushmore Jr. (pictured) was employed by Corsa in various international sales positions including Vice-President, Head of International Sales. (See here for Corsa’s 2018 press release announcing Cushmore’s promotion. In the release, Corsa’s CEO stated: “We are thrilled to … provide Fred with a well-deserved promotion.”

Recently, Cushmore was criminally charged and plead guilty to a conspiracy charge to violate the FCPA’s anti-bribery provisions in connection with a bribery scheme in Egypt.

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