Top Menu

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)

whatdidyousay

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.

Continue Reading

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

Coffee

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.

Continue Reading

Friday Roundup

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.

Interesting

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.

Continue Reading

Once Again, The DOJ Shoots Itself In The Foot

shootingselffoot

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?

Continue Reading

Issues To Consider From The Telia Enforcement Action

Issues

This previous post went in-depth into the Telia Foreign Corrupt Practices Act enforcement action which contemplates a net $483 million settlement (after accounting for various credits and deductions for contemplated Swedish and Dutch enforcement actions) – the 5th largest net FCPA settlement of all-time.

Set forth below are several additional issues to consider from the enforcement action.

No Books and Records Findings

Off the top of my head, I can recall only one prior instance (BNY Mellon) of an SEC FCPA enforcement action not involving books and records violations or findings. The Telia action is the second instance which is odd given that the SEC found that the “bribe payments were funneled through payments for sham lobbying and consulting services to a front company controlled by the official.”

Continue Reading

Powered by WordPress. Designed by WooThemes