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Even Though The Jurisdictional Basis For The Action Was “Limited,” Airbus Resolves $294 Million FCPA Enforcement Action In Connection With Broader Global Enforcement Action

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The DOJ recently announced that Airbus (a France-based global provider of civilian and military aircraft) agreed to pay $3.9 billion to resolve foreign bribery, as well as Arms Export Control Act and International Traffic in Arms Regulations, enforcement actions in the U.S., France, and the United Kingdom.

As the DOJ acknowledged, Airbus “is neither a U.S. issuer nor a domestic concern, and the territorial jurisdiction over the corrupt conduct is limited.” As the DOJ further acknowledged, both France and the United Kingdom have a “significantly stronger” jurisdictional basis for resolving related matters.

Nevertheless, a portion of the global settlement amount includes a $294 million Foreign Corrupt Practices Act enforcement action. This post summarizes the enforcement action in which the DOJ charged Airbus in this information with conspiracy to violate the FCPA’s anti-bribery provisions and conspiracy to violate the Arms Export Control Act and the International Traffic in Arms Regulations.

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Swedish Company Bribes Foreign Officials, U.S. Collects $1.06 Billion In Record-Setting FCPA Enforcement Action

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Late last Friday, the DOJ and SEC announced (here and here) a record-setting Foreign Corrupt Practices Act action Swedish telecom company Ericsson (a company with American Depositary Shares traded in the U.S.). The $1.06 billion settlement amount is the largest net FCPA settlement amount in history surpassing the $850 million FCPA enforcement action against Russian telecom company MTS in March 2019 (see here).

The enforcement action concerned conduct in Djibouti, China, Vietnam, Kuwait, Indonesia, and Saudi Arabia.

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Six Years After Juniper Networks Disclosed FCPA Scrutiny, It Resolves A $11.7 Million Joke Of An Enforcement Action Based On Russia And China Subsidiary Conduct

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As highlighted in this previous post, in mid-2013 Juniper Networks disclosed that it was under FCPA scrutiny. Over six years later, the SEC announced yesterday that the company agreed to pay approximately $11.7 million to resolve the scrutiny.

As highlighted below, the enforcement action was based on the conduct of Russia and China subsidiary employees. In Russia, certain sales employees of the Russian representative office of Juniper’s subsidiary secretly agreed with third party channel partners to provide discounts to customers that were parked in off-book funds some of which were used to pay for customer trips, including trips for government officials, some of which were predominately leisure in nature. In China, certain sales employees of Juniper’s Chinese subsidiaries falsified trip and meeting agendas for customer events in seeking approval from Juniper’s Legal Department.

Based on the conduct alleged in the enforcement action (which is beyond any conceivable statute of limitations) as well as actual FCPA legal authority, the enforcement action is a $11.7 million joke.

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Spot On Observations Regarding The Telefonica Brasil Enforcement Action

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Previous posts here and here discussed the SEC’s recent Foreign Corrupt Practices Act enforcement action against Telefonica Brasil (focused on the company hosting Brazilian officials at soccer matches in Brazil) as well as the many problematic issues associated with the expansive enforcement action.

The most recent edition of the always informative FCPA Update by Debevoise & Plimpton likewise takes issue which various aspects of the enforcement action. Kara Brockmeyer (the SEC’s former FCPA Unit Chief) is the lead author of the spot on article which states in pertinent part:

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A Brazilian Telecom Company Hosted Brazilian Government Officials For Soccer Tournaments In Brazil – Five Years Later, U.S. Collects $4.1 Million In FCPA Enforcement Action

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It is only fitting that one day after publishing this post regarding the SEC’s inconsistent enforcement of the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (and how the SEC resolved an FCPA books and records and internal controls case for $0 against a U.S. company for engaging in accounting misconduct including the CEO of the company making misrepresentations to the market concerning $307 million) that the SEC brings this $4.1 million administrative action against Telefonica Brasil (a company with ADRs traded on the NYSE).

The conduct at issue?

You better sit down for this … the company “failed to devise and maintain sufficient internal accounting controls over a hospitality program that the company hosted in connection with the 2014 World Cup and 2013 Confederations Cup” both held in Brazil.

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