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Father – Son Charged With FCPA Conspiracy In Connection With Sargeant Marine Action

fatherson

Some Foreign Corrupt Practices Act enforcement actions slip through the cracks.

The mid-December 2020 enforcement action against Jorge Luz and his son Bruno Luz in connection with the Sargeant Marine enforcement action (see here and here for prior posts) appears to be one such action as the DOJ never issued a press release and the actions are not even mentioned on the DOJ’s FCPA website.

The Sargeant Marine enforcement action concerned conduct in Brazil, Venezuela and Ecuador and the Luz enforcement action was based on the same core Brazil conduct alleged in the Sargeant Marine (SMI) matter. As highlighted in this prior post, five individuals were previously charged with FCPA offenses in connection with the SMI matter and the Luz enforcement action continues the clustering dynamic often seen in DOJ FCPA individual enforcement actions (that is, most corporate FCPA actions lack related individual charges, yet a few corporate enforcement actions involve 5+ related individual actions).

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Issues To Consider From The Sargeant Marine Enforcement Action

Issues

This prior post went in-depth into the recent Foreign Corrupt Practices Act enforcement action against Sargeant Marine Inc. (SMI) and this post continues the analysis by highlighting additional issues to consider.

Why Disclose?

For approximately 15 years, the DOJ has been encouraging business organizations to voluntarily disclose FCPA violations. Yet, time and time again, the DOJ undermines its goal by how it resolves certain enforcement actions.

The SMI matter is the latest example that should cause a board member, audit committee member or others involved in the voluntary disclosure decision to pause.

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Sargeant Marine Cements $16.6 FCPA Resolution With DOJ Regarding Bribery Schemes In Brazil, Venezuela, And Ecuador

Sargeant Marine

Earlier this week, the DOJ announced¬†that Sargeant Marine Inc. (SMI – an asphalt company based in Florida) “pleaded guilty and agreed to pay $16.6 million to resolve foreign bribery charges stemming from conduct by the company and its employees and agents in Brazil, Venezuela and Ecuador.”

The total criminal penalty was actually $90 million, but because of SMI’s “inability to pay” the settlement amount was only $16.6 million.

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