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A Focus On SEC Individual Actions


This previous post highlighted various facts and figures from 2019 SEC FCPA enforcement actions against issuers.

As highlighted in the prior post, of the 13 corporate SEC FCPA enforcement actions in 2019, 2 (15%) have involved, at present, related SEC FCPA charges or findings against company employees.

In 2019, the SEC charged or found that six individuals violated the FCPA: Gordon Coburn and Steven Schwartz and Sridhar Thiruvengadam (all associated with Cognizant); Nancy Gougarty (associated with Westport Fuels); Yanliang Li (associated with Herbalife); and Tim Leisnner (associated with Goldman Sachs).

The remainder of this post focuses on SEC FCPA individual actions historically.

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SEC FCPA Enforcement – 2019 Year In Review


Foreign Corrupt Practices Act enforcement, it’s not just about the DOJ.

Granted, as a civil enforcement agency the SEC’s sticks are less sharp than the DOJ’s, but the SEC also claims a significant piece of the FCPA enforcement pie (query whether it should – but that is a subject for another day – for instance as discussed in “The Story of the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act” the SEC wanted no part in enforcing the FCPA’s anti-bribery provisions).

This post goes in-depth into various facts and figures relevant to SEC FCPA enforcement in 2019.

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Like Prior Years, The Gray Cloud Of FCPA Scrutiny Lasted Too Long In 2019

Gray Cloud

This recent post highlighted the origins of corporate Foreign Corrupt Practices Act enforcement actions in 2019.

Continuing with the 2019 FCPA statistical feast, this post follows the chronology of scrutiny to enforcement and highlights one of the most troubling policy issues when it comes to FCPA enforcement.

That is – FCPA scrutiny simply lasts too long. Specifically, as highlighted below, 4.5 years was the approximate median length of time companies that resolved FCPA enforcement actions in 2019 were under scrutiny.

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The Origins Of 2019 Corporate Enforcement Actions


This recent post compared corporate FCPA enforcement actions in 2019 to prior years. However, before a Foreign Corrupt Practices Act enforcement action is announced, scrutiny must first arise.

This post highlights the origins of the 14 core corporate enforcement actions in 2019. (See here for a similar post highlighting the origins of 2018 corporate enforcement actions; here for 2017 corporate enforcement actions and here for 2016 corporate enforcement actions).

As highlighted in the post, like prior years, 2019 corporate enforcement actions originated in a variety of ways from voluntary disclosures, to pro-active government investigations and industry sweeps, to foreign law enforcement investigations and foreign media reporting.

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Corporate FCPA Enforcement In 2019 Compared To Prior Years

Statistical Analysis

This post, the first in a weeks-long statistical feast on FCPA Professor, compares corporate FCPA enforcement in 2019 to prior years. As reflected in the post, measured in terms of actual settlement amounts, 2019 was the largest in FCPA history as the DOJ/SEC collected approximately $2.65 billion.

Keep the numbers in this post in mind when you see other 2019 FCPA enforcement statistics that use creative and haphazard counting methods or fail to use accurate or consistent math (see here).

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