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An Episode Of White Collar Briefly

WhiteCollarBriefly

Today’s post is a recent episode of White Collar Briefly, a podcast sponsored by Perkins Coie and co-sponsored by the ABA Global Anti-Corruption Corruption.

During the podcast, I had the pleasure to visit with Chelsea Curfman and Markus Funk and talked about the following issues: my professional background; the evolution of my work; FCPA Inc.; the revolving door between the DOJ and SEC and private FCPA practice; what the end game of FCPA enforcement is and what does success actually mean; the downside of other countries modeling enforcement of their FCPA-like laws on U.S. FCPA enforcement; the lack of individual enforcement actions in connection with most corporate enforcement actions; whether FCPA enforcement will change in a Biden administration; voluntary disclosure; and whether there are any recent trends in FCPA enforcement.

Slumbering Individual FCPA Enforcement Actions

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Most in the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act space learn when the DOJ announces criminal FCPA charges against individuals. Thereafter, the tendency (including myself) is to sort of forget about many of the individual cases.

However, recently I examined the dockets for all individuals criminally charged with FCPA offenses since January 1, 2017 and was surprised to learn that a meaningful percentage of these cases are slumbering with no substantive activity recorded in quite some time.

Thus, when viewing DOJ FCPA individual enforcement action statistics it is important to keep in mind that many of these cases are slumbering and are not being actively prosecuted.

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DOJ Announces Individual Criminal Charges In Connection With Ecuador Bribery Scheme

JorgeCherrezMino

Yesterday, the DOJ announced criminal charges against Jorge Cherrez Mino (pictured) and John Robert Luzuriaga Aguinaga in connection with a bribery scheme in Ecuador.

According to this criminal complaint, Cherrez (a citizen of Ecuador who is currently located in Mexico) served as the manager, president, and director of the “U.S. Investment Fund Companies” (a domestic concern under the FCPA).

According to this separate criminal complaint, Luzuriaga (a citizen of Ecuador who is currently located in Florida) served as the Risk Director for Instituto de Seguridad Social de la Policia Nacional (“ISSPOL” – an Ecuadorian public institution responsible for managing the financial contributions by Ecuadorian police officers toward their social security). The complaint alleges that “ISSPOL was controlled by the government of Ecuador and performed a function that Ecuador treated as its own, and was an ‘instrumentality’ of the Ecuadorian government.”)

Even though the Cherrez complaint provides a jurisdictional basis for FCPA anti-bribery offenses and indeed alleges that Cherrez violated the FCPA, the Cherrez and Luzuriaga complaints charge money laundering offenses.

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DOJ Individual Actions: The Strange Public – Private Divide

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This recent post highlighted certain facts and figures regarding the DOJ’s prosecution of individuals for Foreign Corrupt Practices Act offenses in 2020 and historically.

As highlighted in the prior post, DOJ FCPA individual enforcement actions are significantly skewed by a small handful of enforcement actions and the reality is, despite the DOJ’s rhetoric, approximately 75% of DOJ corporate enforcement actions since 2006 have not (at least yet) resulted in any related DOJ FCPA charges against company employees.

Another very interesting and significant picture emerges when analyzing actual DOJ individual FCPA prosecutions based on whether the individual charged was employed by or otherwise associated with an issuer or a private business organization.

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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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