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Checking In On The Wakil Enforcement Action

Checkin

As highlighted in this prior post, in August 2021 the DOJ announced that Naman Wakil, a Syrian national and U.S. lawful permanent resident, was “arrested in Miami on charges related to his alleged role in a scheme to bribe Venezuelan officials and launder funds to obtain contracts from Venezuela’s state-owned and state-controlled energy company, Petróleos de Venezuela S.A. (PDVSA), and Venezuela’s state-owned and state-controlled food company that purchased food for Venezuela, Corporación de Abastecimiento y Servicios Agrícola (CASA).”

Recently, Wakil (through his attorneys Stephen Binhak and Black Srebnick attorneys Howard Srebnick and Jackie Perczek) filed three motions.

The first motion is a motion to dismiss the indictment for failure to state an offense and states in summary:

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Court Dismisses FCPA Charges Based On Lack Of Jurisdiction, Lack Of Due Process, Vagueness, And Statute Of Limitation Issues

Dismissed

As highlighted in this prior post in September 2019 the DOJ announced the unsealing of a criminal indictment against (among others) Paulo Casqueiro-Murta in connection with an alleged bribery scheme involving Venezuela’s state-owned and state-controlled energy company, PDVSA.

According to the DOJ, Murta (a citizen of Portugal and Switzerland) provided financial services to various co-defendants (including former employees of PDVSA) in connection with various bribery schemes and he was charged with directly violating or assisting others in violating the FCPA and money laundering laws.

Recently, Judge Kenneth Hoyt (S.D. Tex) granted Murta’s motion to dismiss the charges based on lack of jurisdiction, lack of due process, vagueness, and statute of limitation issues.

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Laughing Out Loud At Certain Portions Of SEC Chair Gensler’s Speech

Laughable

Yesterday, SEC Chair Gary Gensler delivered this speech.

I literally laughed out loud as to certain portions of Gensler’s speech.

I didn’t laugh because what Gensler said was unreasonable. To the contrary, much of what he said represents sound policy. Rather, I laughed  because I have closely followed SEC enforcement practices (and speeches from enforcement agency officials) for over a decade.

Gensler began his speech as follows:

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Issues To Consider From The WPP Enforcement Action

Issues

This previous post highlighted the recent $19.2 million SEC Foreign Corrupt Practices Act enforcement action against London-based advertising agency WPP (a company with depositary shares traded on the New York Stock Exchange).

This post continues the analysis by highlighting additional issues to consider.

No Disclosure

Most issuers under FCPA scrutiny tend to disclose the scrutiny in SEC filings and thereafter disclose scrutiny developments in subsequent filings.

However, WPP appears to be a relatively rare example of an issuer not disclosing FCPA scrutiny.

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Amec Foster Wheeler / John Wood Group Enforcement Actions – What Actually Was Accomplished?

question marks2

Previous posts here, herehere and here highlighted various aspects of the recent U.S. and U.K. enforcement actions against Amec Foster Wheeler / John Wood Group.

The enforcement actions included: (i) a net $17.7 million FCPA enforcement action concerning conduct in Brazil; (ii) a net $142 million U.K. enforcement action concerning conduct in Brazil, Nigeria, Saudi Arabia, Malaysia, and India; and (iii) a net approximately $17 million Brazil enforcement action concerning conduct in Brazil.

That is a lot of money going into government coffers, but the question needs to be asked: what actually was accomplished through these enforcement actions?

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