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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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Herbalife Resolves $123 Million Enforcement Action – Becoming The Latest Company To Resolve A Matter In Connection With Obtaining A Direct Selling Permit In China

herbalife

In 2014, Avon resolved a Foreign Corrupt Practices Act enforcement based in large part on obtaining a direct selling permit in China. (See here for the prior post).

In 2016, Nu Skin Enterprises resolved an FCPA enforcement action based in large part on obtaining a direct selling permit in China. (See here for the prior post).

In the latest enforcement action involving another company in the same general industry involving the same general conduct, the DOJ and SEC recently announced (here and here) that Herbalife agreed to pay approximately $123 million to resolve a parallel DOJ and SEC enforcement action. The corporate action follows the DOJ and SEC’s November 2019 enforcement action against former Herbalife China executives Yanliang Li (a citizen of China and former Managing Director of a Chinese division of Herbalife) and Hongwei Yang (a citizen of China and former head the External Affairs Department of a Chinese division of Herbalife).

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Alexion Pharmaceuticals Resolves $21.5 Million Enforcement Action

alexionsoli

Yesterday, the SEC announced that Alexion Pharmaceuticals (a company that has been under scrutiny since mid-2015) agreed to approximately $21.5 million to resolve an enforcement action based on the actions of foreign subsidiaries involving the company’s primary drug Soliris.

The conduct at issue focused on Alexion Illac Ticarent Limited Sirketi (Alexion Turkey), Alexion Pharma OOO (Alexion Russia), Alexion Pharma Brazil and Alexion Pharma Colombia SAS (all wholly-owned subsidiaries whose books and records were consolidated into Alexion’s financial statements).

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