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Bankman-Fried Charged With FCPA Offense


In December 2022, the Department of Justice announced criminal charges against Samuel Bankman-Fried arising from an “alleged wide-ranging scheme by [him] to misappropriate billions of dollars of customer funds deposited with FTX, the international cryptocurrency exchange [he] founded …, and mislead investors and lenders to FTX and to Alameda Research, the cryptocurrency hedge fund [he] also founded.”

Specifically, Bankman-Friend was charged with conspiracy to commit wire fraud, wire fraud, conspiracy to commit commodities fraud, conspiracy to commit securities fraud, conspiracy to commit money laundering, and conspiracy to defraud the Federal Election Commission and commit campaign finance violations.

Yesterday, the DOJ filed a superseding indictment adding a Foreign Corrupt Practices Act conspiracy charge to the criminal charges Bankman-Fried is facing.

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The Gap In SEC Individual FCPA Enforcement Actions Is Now 2.5 Years


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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Bribes As “Breakfast” And “Breakfast Servings”


Earlier this week the DOJ announced that “Glenn Oztemel (who worked as a senior oil and gas trader at two Connecticut-based trading companies (Trading Company #1 and Trading Company #2) and Eduardo Innecco (a dual Brazilian and Italian citizen who worked as an oil and gas broker and agent for Trading Company #1 and Trading Company #2 in Brazil) were charged with FCPA and related offenses for an alleged Brazil bribery scheme.

As highlighted here, Oztemel was previously employed by Freepoint Commodities LLC.

In summary fashion, the indictment alleges:

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Berko Arrested On Recently Unsealed Criminal Charges Alleging The Same Core Conduct As The SEC’s Previously Resolved Enforcement Action


As highlighted in this prior post, in early 2020, the SEC announced the filing of a civil complaint charging Asante Berko (pictured – a former Executive Director of Goldman Sachs International) with Foreign Corrupt Practices Act violations and other charges for “orchestrating a bribery scheme to help a client [a Turkish energy company] win a government contract to build and operate an electrical power plant” in Ghana.

Berko publicly denied the SEC’s allegations and the SEC sought court approval to serve the summons and complaint via e-mail and through his U.S. counsel. Ultimately settlement negotiations commenced and in mid-2021 Berko agreed to resolve the matter. Without admitting or denying the SEC’s allegations, Berko agreed to pay $329,163.92 (disgorgement of $275,000 along with prejudgment interest of $54,163.92). The final judgment also permanently restrained and enjoined Berko from violating, directly or indirectly, the FCPA’s anti-bribery provisions.

Those who follow the FCPA, myself included, likely thought that was the end of the matter. Perhaps Berko himself thought that.

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SEC Chair Gensler Is Right … Details Matter


Recently, SEC Chair Gary Gensler delivered this speech.

Citing President Franklin Delano Roosevelt who stated upon signing the first of the federal securities laws, “this law and its effective administration are steps in a program to restore some old-fashioned standards of rectitude,” Gensler discussed “effective administration” of SEC enforcement including accountability and process.

Regarding accountability, Gensler stated:

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