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The Origins Of 2021 Corporate Enforcement Actions

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This recent post compared corporate FCPA enforcement actions in 2021 to prior years. However, before a Foreign Corrupt Practices Act enforcement action is announced, scrutiny must first arise.

This post highlights the origins of the four core corporate enforcement actions in 2021. (See here for a similar post highlighting the origins of 2020 corporate enforcement actions; here for 2019, here for 2018, here for 2017, and here for 2016).

Compared to prior years, this year in review statistic (like many from 2021) is less than enlightening given the small number of corporate enforcement actions in 2021 coupled with the fact that the specific origin of an enforcement action is often dependent on information contained in a resolution document.

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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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An In-Depth Look At The U.K. Prosecution Of Airbus

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These pages have long asserted that if a country is to have a deferred prosecution regime that the regime in the United Kingdom (which requires meaningful judicial review and approval) is far more preferable than the U.S. regime.

This is apparent when reviewing the Statement of Facts,, Deferred Prosecution Agreement and Approved Judgment relevant to the U.K. Serious Fraud Office prosecution of Airbus. (See here for a collection of the U.K. documents and see here for the prior post regarding the U.S. enforcement action). The U.K. documents provided a substantially more thorough and transparent glimpse into the underlying conduct compared to the U.S. resolution documents.

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The Origins Of 2019 Corporate Enforcement Actions

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This recent post compared corporate FCPA enforcement actions in 2019 to prior years. However, before a Foreign Corrupt Practices Act enforcement action is announced, scrutiny must first arise.

This post highlights the origins of the 14 core corporate enforcement actions in 2019. (See here for a similar post highlighting the origins of 2018 corporate enforcement actions; here for 2017 corporate enforcement actions and here for 2016 corporate enforcement actions).

As highlighted in the post, like prior years, 2019 corporate enforcement actions originated in a variety of ways from voluntary disclosures, to pro-active government investigations and industry sweeps, to foreign law enforcement investigations and foreign media reporting.

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