Recently, the FCPA Blog published this post titled “three reasons why FCPA corporate enforcement has stalled.”
One reason offered is the following. “A new agenda. The focus of criminal and civil enforcement evolves over time. A recent White House announcement articulated a whole-government initiative to fight corruption. Cooperation among disparate agencies takes time.”
That is ridiculous. For starters, there has not been a corporate FCPA enforcement since January 8th and the release by the White House on June 3rd of its “Memorandum on Establishing the Fight Against Corruption as a Core United States National Security Interest” is not the cause. Moreover, the memo does not address cooperation among “disparate agencies” in FCPA enforcement. Simply put, the Office of the Vice President, the Department of Energy, the Office of Management and Budget, the Office of the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff (just to name a few of the agencies listed in the memo) play no role in FCPA enforcement.
Another reason offered by the FCPA Blog is even more absurd.
The FCPA Blog states:
“A Goldman Sachs-sized shadow. At the end of 2020, the bank paid $3.3 billion to settle FCPA offenses related to Malaysia’s 1MDB sovereign wealth fund. It’s by far the largest FCPA settlement to date — over a billion dollars more than the Airbus settlement earlier in 2020. With such a substantial monetary settlement, what’s the path forward for enforcement agencies to enter into mainstream media consciousness? In no way implying that the reward of recognition drives enforcement, but a splashy press event announced the Goldman Sachs settlement.”
For starters, the statement that Goldman “paid $3.3 billion to settle FCPA offenses” is factually inaccurate. As highlighted in this prior post, Goldman paid $1.66 billion to settle FCPA offenses.
Further, the suggestion that DOJ and SEC FCPA enforcement officials are somehow contemplating “what’s the path forward … to enter into mainstream media consciousness” in the aftermath of the largest FCPA settlement to date (which Goldman Sachs was) makes little sense.
In December 2008, Siemens paid (at the time) the largest FCPA settlement amount of all-time. FCPA enforcement continued in the weeks and months after.
Then MTS paid (at the time) the largest FCPA settlement amount of all-time in March 2019. FCPA enforcement continued in the weeks and months after.
Then in December 2019 Ericsson paid (at the time) the largest FCPA settlement amount of all-time. FCPA enforcement continued in the months after.
As highlighted in this prior post gaps (including 5-7 months) in FCPA enforcement are relatively common in the modern era of FCPA enforcement.