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Issues To Consider From The Clear Channel Outdoors Enforcement Action

Issues

This recent post highlighted the $26.1 million enforcement action against Clear Channel Outdoors based on the conduct of a former indirect, majority-owned Chinese subsidiary (Clear Media Limited).

This post highlights additional issues to consider from the enforcement action.

Timeline

As highlighted here, in April 2018 disclosed FCPA scrutiny.

Thus, from start to finish, Clear Channel’s FCPA scrutiny lasted an unconscionable 5.5 years.

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Chemical Company Albemarle Resolves A Net $218.4 Million Enforcement Action

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As highlighted in this prior post, in February 2018 Albemarle Corp. (a North Carolina based chemical company) disclosed Foreign Corrupt Practices Act scrutiny.

More than 5.5 years later, the DOJ and SEC announced a net $218.4 million FCPA enforcement action against the company.

The resolution included a DOJ non-prosecution agreement (pursuant to which the company agreed to pay a $98.2 million criminal penalty and $16.6 million in forfeiture) and an SEC administrative order (pursuant to which the company agreed to pay approximately $103.6 million in disgorgement and prejudgment interest).

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The SEC’s Other Recent “FCPA” Enforcement Actions

SEC

September 30th was the end of the SEC’s fiscal year – and like prior years – there was much enforcement activity in September. Just don’t call it “earnings management” – even though that is a term SEC Commissioner Hester Peirce has used to describe enforcement activity in September (see here).

Forty percentage of corporate SEC FCPA enforcement actions thus far in 2022 occurred during a 12-day period last month (see here and here) and this post highlights several other non-FCPA, FCPA enforcement actions (that is – enforcement actions that charge or find violations of the FCPA’s books and records and internal controls provisions, yet have nothing to do with foreign bribery) from late September.

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In The Herbalife Enforcement Action, The Government Failed To Present The “Complete Picture” Regarding The Company’s Internal Audit Function

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When the government charges individuals with Foreign Corrupt Practices Act violations and then subsequently charges a business organization with FCPA violations based on the same core allegations one might expect the allegations to be consistent.

However, as highlighted below in connection with the DOJ/SEC’s individual enforcement action against former Herbalife China executives (see here for the prior post) and its subsequent enforcement against Herbalife (see here and here for prior posts), in the later enforcement action the government failed to present the “complete picture” regarding the company’s internal audit function (a key portion of the internal controls allegations against the company).

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