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FCPA Flash Podcast – A Conversation With Joshua Ray Regarding “The Continuing Facade of FCPA Enforcement”

FCPA Flash

The FCPA Flash podcast provides in an audio format the same fresh, candid, and informed commentary about the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act and related topics as readers have come to expect from written posts on FCPA Professor.

This FCPA Flash episode is a conversation with Joshua Ray (a London-based Partner at Rahman Ravelli Solicitors) regarding the continuing facade of FCPA enforcement. During the podcast, Ray discusses his recently published article titled “The Continuing Facade of FCPA Enforcement: A Critical Look at the Telia DPA.” (See here for the original 2010 article “The Facade of FCPA Enforcement”).

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Swedish Appellate Court Agrees, Karimova Was Not A “Public Official” (The Same Enforcement Theory That The U.S. Largely Used To Secure Approximately $1.7 Billion In FCPA Settlements)


This post is related to a prior post from March 2019 regarding the same subject.

In recent years, the U.S. government has secured approximately $1.7 billion in net Foreign Corrupt Practices Act settlement amounts in related FCPA enforcement actions against telecommunications companies VimpelCom, Telia, and most recently MTS. The enforcement actions were largely based on the theory that Gulnara Karimova (the daughter of former Uzbekistan President Islam Karimov) was a “foreign official” under the FCPA’s anti-bribery provisions. Like many FCPA enforcement theories, this theory was not subjected to any meaningful judicial scrutiny.

However, in a 2019 criminal prosecution of former Telia executives Tero Kivisaari, Olli Tuohimaa and Lars Nyberg, a Swedish trial court acquitted the defendants because Karimova was not a “public official” under the relevant law.

Earlier this year, a Swedish appellate court affirmed the acquittal and once again concluded that Karimova was not a “public official” under the relevant law.

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I’ll Drink To That (A Coffee Of Course)


In 2010, I published an article titled “The Facade of FCPA Enforcement.”

This article discussed various pillars that contribute to the facade of FCPA enforcement and highlighted that the FCPA, during its decade of resurgence, was being enforced like no other law. This article did not argue, or even suggest, that every FCPA enforcement action is unwarranted or that no company or individual has never violated the FCPA. Rather, the article demonstrated that a significant majority of FCPA enforcement actions are a facade” including those that allege clear instances of corporate bribery” yet are resolved without FCPA anti-bribery charges.

According to this site, it is one of the most read articles specifically about the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act.

A decade later, I happy to see that others still notice the article and have continued to expose the facade of FCPA enforcement.

For instance, Joshua Ray (a London-based Partner at Rahman Ravelli Solicitors who leads the Firm’s U.S.-facing business crime practice group) recently published this article titled “The Continuing Facade of FCPA Enforcement: A Critical Look at the Telia DPA.” Of note, Ray serves as defense counsel for Bekhzod Akhmedov in connection with criminal charges filed against him in 2019 related to the Telia FCPA enforcement action (see here for the prior post).

Set forth below is a summary of Ray’s article.

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Friday Roundup


Interesting, more charges, sentenced, Telia-related, scrutiny alert, ISO-37001 related, across the pond, so true, odd, it can work, and for the reading stack. It’s all here in the Friday roundup.


According to this Global Investigations Review report based on documents received through the FOIA process, the DOJ approved $711,800 to spend on Hui Chen’s former compliance consultant position over two years. According to the report, Chen’s salary at the DOJ was greater than the DOJ criminal division chief, the deputy attorney general and the attorney general.

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Once Again, The DOJ Shoots Itself In The Foot


The Department of Justice want companies to voluntarily disclose conduct that implicates the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act. Notwithstanding the DOJ slapping a formal title on its policy goal in April 2016 (i.e. the FCPA Pilot Program), this has long been the articulated policy position of the DOJ for nearly a decade.

Why then is the DOJ shooting itself in the foot by making decisions that should result in any board member, audit committee member, or general counsel informed of current events not making the decision to voluntarily disclose?

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