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A Focus On DOJ Individual Actions

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This recent post focused on SEC individual FCPA actions in 2020 and historically. Today’s post highlights various facts and figures regarding the DOJ’s prosecution of individuals for Foreign Corrupt Practices Act offenses in 2020 and historically.

The key word above is FCPA offenses.

Some in the FCPA space include enforcement actions containing non-FCPA charges (often money laundering charges against alleged “foreign officials”) related to an FCPA enforcement action as an individual FCPA enforcement action. While it is fine to track such enforcement actions, calling them FCPA enforcement actions is factually false.

Compared to corporate FCPA enforcement actions, tracking individual FCPA enforcement actions is often more difficult because the DOJ does not publicly announce every individual enforcement action and/or certain matters are filed under seal.

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The “Foreign Officials” Of 2020

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A “foreign official.”

Without one, there can be no FCPA anti-bribery violation (civil or criminal).  Who were the alleged “foreign officials” of 2020?

This post highlights the alleged “foreign officials” from 2020 corporate DOJ and SEC FCPA enforcement actions.

There were 12 core FCPA enforcement actions in 2020. Of the 12 actions, 100 (83%) involved, in whole or in part, employees of alleged state-owned or state-controlled entities (“SOEs).

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FCPA Enforcement Actions Against Foreign Companies From OECD Convention Peer Countries

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As highlighted in this post, like prior years (see hereherehere and here) much of the largeness of 2020 FCPA enforcement resulted from corporate enforcement actions against foreign companies.

Specifically, of the 12 corporate Foreign Corrupt Practices Act enforcement actions in 2020, 5 (42%) were against foreign companies (based in many instances on mere listing of securities on U.S. markets or in a few instances on sparse allegations of a U.S. nexus in furtherance of a bribery scheme). Of the net approximate $2.78 billion in FCPA settlement amounts from 2020 corporate enforcement actions, approximately $910.5 million (33%) was from enforcement actions against foreign companies. (Note: the record setting $1.26 billion FCPA enforcement action against U.S. company Goldman Sachs significantly reduced this number from prior years).

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DOJ FCPA Enforcement – 2020 Year In Review

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This recent post highlighted SEC Foreign Corrupt Practices Act enforcement against issuers in 2020.

Today’s post focuses on the other FCPA enforcement agency – the Department of Justice – and highlights various facts and figures relevant to DOJ FCPA enforcement in 2020 against business organizations. (See here for a similar post from 2019; here for a similar post from 2018; here from 2017, here from 2016, here from 2015, here from 2014, here from 2013, here from 2012, here from 2011, and here from 2010).

Settlement Amounts and Specifics

In 2020, the DOJ brought 8 corporate FCPA enforcement actions.

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A Focus On SEC Individual Actions

SEC

This previous post highlighted various facts and figures from 2020 SEC FCPA enforcement actions against issuers.

This post focuses on SEC FCPA individual actions – both in 2020 and historically.

Like the DOJ, the SEC frequently speaks in lofty rhetoric concerning its focus on holding individuals accountable under the FCPA. As highlighted here, in 2020 the SEC’s Co-Director of Enforcement stated: “[A] critical part of our program continues to be seeking to deter wrongdoing by holding individuals accountable

As highlighted here, in 2018 the SEC’s Co-Director of Enforcement stated:

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