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Glencore Resolves An Approximately $443 Million Net FCPA Enforcement Action

glencore

In mid-2018 Glencore (a commodities company incorporated in the United Kingdom and headquartered in Switzerland disclosed that it was under scrutiny by the DOJ. (See here for the prior post).

Specifically, the company disclosed:

“Glencore Ltd, a subsidiary of Glencore plc, has received a subpoena dated 2 July, 2018 from the US Department of Justice to produce documents and other records with respect to compliance with the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act and United States money laundering statutes.  The requested documents relate to the Glencore Group’s business in Nigeria, the Democratic Republic of Congo and Venezuela from 2007 to present. Glencore is reviewing the subpoena and will provide further information in due course as appropriate.”

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Bad Advertising – Ad Group WPP Resolves $19.2 Million FCPA Enforcement Action

WPP

Last Friday, the SEC announced that London-based WPP (the world’s largest advertising agency and a company with depositary shares traded on the New York Stock Exchange) agreed to resolve a $19.2 million Foreign Corrupt Practices Act enforcement action.

The enforcement action focused on WPP subsidiary conduct in India, China, Brazil and Peru.

In summary fashion, the SEC’s order finds:

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In A Highly Unusual Development, DOJ Brings A $19.6 Million Enforcement Action Against Beam Approximately 2.5 Years After The SEC’s Related Action

Beam

DOJ and SEC Foreign Corrupt Practices Act enforcement actions against issuers based on the same core conduct are relatively common. However, such actions are nearly always coordinated and announced on the same day.

In a highly unusual (although not unprecedented) development, the DOJ announced yesterday a $19.6 million FCPA enforcement action against Beam Suntory Inc. based on the same core conduct in India at issue in the SEC’s July 2018 FCPA enforcement action against the company (see here).

Another unusual aspect of the Beam DOJ action was the DOJ’s position that the company did not voluntarily disclose. In contrast, in the 2018 SEC enforcement action the SEC said that the company voluntarily disclosed.

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A Reminder Why Congress Chose To Exempt Facilitating Payments From The Reach Of The FCPA’s Anti-Bribery Provisions

reminder

Recently, the U.S. State Department released 2020 “Investment Climate Statements.”  The annual reports cover over 170 foreign markets and are prepared by “economic officers at U.S. embassies and diplomatic missions” to help U.S. companies make informed business decisions.

Corruption is prominently mentioned in most country investment climate statements.

However, this “2020 Mongolia Investment Climate Statement” particularly caught my eye – not because Mongolia is a prominent market for U.S. businesses – but rather because the statement provides a nice reminder why Congress chose to exempt facilitation payments from the reach of the FCPA’s anti-bribery provisions.

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