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A Focus On DOJ Individual Actions

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This recent post focused on SEC individual FCPA actions in 2020 and historically. Today’s post highlights various facts and figures regarding the DOJ’s prosecution of individuals for Foreign Corrupt Practices Act offenses in 2020 and historically.

The key word above is FCPA offenses.

Some in the FCPA space include enforcement actions containing non-FCPA charges (often money laundering charges against alleged “foreign officials”) related to an FCPA enforcement action as an individual FCPA enforcement action. While it is fine to track such enforcement actions, calling them FCPA enforcement actions is factually false.

Compared to corporate FCPA enforcement actions, tracking individual FCPA enforcement actions is often more difficult because the DOJ does not publicly announce every individual enforcement action and/or certain matters are filed under seal.

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Father – Son Charged With FCPA Conspiracy In Connection With Sargeant Marine Action

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Some Foreign Corrupt Practices Act enforcement actions slip through the cracks.

The mid-December 2020 enforcement action against Jorge Luz and his son Bruno Luz in connection with the Sargeant Marine enforcement action (see here and here for prior posts) appears to be one such action as the DOJ never issued a press release and the actions are not even mentioned on the DOJ’s FCPA website.

The Sargeant Marine enforcement action concerned conduct in Brazil, Venezuela and Ecuador and the Luz enforcement action was based on the same core Brazil conduct alleged in the Sargeant Marine (SMI) matter. As highlighted in this prior post, five individuals were previously charged with FCPA offenses in connection with the SMI matter and the Luz enforcement action continues the clustering dynamic often seen in DOJ FCPA individual enforcement actions (that is, most corporate FCPA actions lack related individual charges, yet a few corporate enforcement actions involve 5+ related individual actions).

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FCPA Enforcement Action Alleges A Promise To Pay A “Foreign Official” After They Leave Public Office

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Yesterday, the DOJ announced that Deck Won Kang pleaded guilty to a criminal information charging him with one count of violating the FCPA’s anti-bribery provisions. As discussed below, the enforcement action involved a rather unique scenario in that Kang allegedly promised things of value to a “foreign official” after the individual left public office.

According to the criminal information, Kang (a U.S. citizen who controlled two closely held companies with principal places of business in New Jersey) engaged in a bribery scheme in which he paid bribes to high-ranking official (“Official 1”) in the Korean Navy and a procurement official for the Defense Acquisition Program Administration (DPA) – a state-owned and state-controlled agency within South Korea’s Ministry of National Defense that was responsible for the procurement of munitions and military equipment and supplies for the Korean Armed Forces.

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Acting Assistant AG Rabbitt Talks White-Collar Crime

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Recently Acting Assistant Attorney General Brian Rabbitt delivered this virtual speech to a White Collar Crime workshop.

As excerpted below, Rabbitt touched upon a variety of white-collar crime topics including individual accountability, DOJ policy, and data analytics.

Regarding white-collar crime generally, Rabbitt stated:

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Observations From The OECD’s Phase 4 U.S. Review Report

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Recently, the OECD released its Phase 4 review of the United State’s implementation of the OECD Anti-Bribery Convention … in effect a review of the FCPA, its enforcement, and related issues.

The first question one needs to ask themselves is whether they care what “experts from Argentina and the United Kingdom” (as stated by the OECD “the report and its recommendations reflect the findings of experts from Argentina and the United Kingdom”) think about the U.S. Foreign Corrupt Practices Act, U.S. law enforcement (DOJ and SEC) policies and practices, and U.S. jurisprudence.

In any event, the Phase 4 Report “explores issues such as detection, enforcement, corporate liability, and international cooperation, as well as covering unresolved issues from prior reports.” (See here for a 2010 post summarizing the OECD’s Phase 3 review).

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