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Judicial Decision

This post summarizes a strange state law claim filed by a former Walmart attorney and recent decision by a federal court judge concluding that resolving a Foreign Corrupt Practices Act enforcement action through a deferred prosecution agreement does not constitute a conviction.

Walmart Matter

Recently Shane Perry (a former Walmart attorney who worked on Walmart’s internal FCPA investigation in Mexico in 2011 and later became the Ethics Officer for Walmart de Mexico) filed this lawsuit in Arkansas state court claiming that on July 6, 2017 “he was terminated in a ruthless fashion based on information carelessly gathered and processed at the orders of senior management for punishment and retaliation.”

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Friday Roundup


Cannabis industry, fooled me, questions abound, investigative fees and expenses, survey says, scrutiny alert, and for the reading stack.

It’s all here in the Friday roundup.

Cannabis Industry

This recent FBI public recording states: “As an increasing number of states change their marijuana legislation, the FBI is seeing a public corruption threat emerge in the expanding cannabis industry. States require licenses to grow and sell the drug—opening the possibility for public officials to become susceptible to bribes in exchange for those licenses.”

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Walmart, Like Prior Issuers, Gets Whistled For Decentralized Compliance


Generally speaking, the FCPA’s internal controls provisions require issuers to “devise and maintain a system of internal accounting controls sufficient to provide reasonable assurances” that certain limited financial objectives are met. The FCPA then defines “reasonable assurances” to mean “such level of detail and degree of assurance as would satisfy prudent officials in the conduct of their own affairs.”

The main problem with these provisions is there is no specific standards by which to judge compliance. Indeed, as highlighted in this prior post, in SEC v. Worldwide Coin (believed to be the only judicial decision to substantively construe the FCPA’s books and records and internal controls provisions) the judge stated:  “The main problem with the internal accounting controls provision of the FCPA is that there are no specific standards by which to evaluate the sufficiency of controls; any evaluation is inevitably a highly subjective process in which knowledgable individuals can arrive at totally different conclusions.”

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Unbelievably Uniformed


This prior post highlighted Public Citizen’s (a non-profit organization which bills itself as “serv[ing] as the people’s voice in the nation’s capital”) sophomoric commentary about Walmart’s Foreign Corrupt Practices Act scrutiny.

Now that Walmart has finally resolved its long-standing FCPA scrutiny (see hereherehere, here, and here for prior post), Public Citizen is back at it and recently released this unbelievably uniformed release about the Walmart enforcement action.

The statement, titled “In Trump’s America, Crime Does Pay,” by Robert Weissman (President, Public Citizen) reads in full:

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Is This A Reason Walmart Did Not Receive Full Cooperation Credit – If So It Is Distubring

© ClassicStock / Masterfile
Model Release: Yes
Property Release: No

In the recent Walmart enforcement action, the DOJ’s NPA states that the company received “full credit” for its cooperation with the DOJ “into conduct in Brazil, China, and India and partial cooperation credit for its investigation into conduct in Mexico.”

The NPA further states: “the Company received partial credit for the conduct in Mexico because, in the view of the DOJ, Walmart did not timely provide documents and information to the DOJ in response to certain requests and did not deconflict with the DOJ’s request to interview one witness before the Company interviewed that witness.”

It would appear that the DOJ’s decision was based, in least in part, on this June 2018 Fourth Circuit decision in which the court, interpreting an agreement that the DOJ drafted, ruled against the DOJ. If true, it is disturbing that the DOJ would penalize a company for making legal arguments that were upheld by an appellate court.

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