The SEC’s most recent Foreign Corrupt Practices Act enforcement action was against KT Corporation – a South Korea corporation – in February 2022. (See here and here for prior posts).
Prior to the that, was the SEC’s FCPA enforcement action against Credit Suisse – a Swiss Corporation (see here). Prior to that against WPP – a United Kingdom Corporation (see here). Prior to that Amec Foster Wheeler – a U.K. corporation and successor in interest to a Swiss corporation (see here). Prior to that Deutsche Bank – a German corporation (see here and here). In fact, all of the SEC’s corporate FCPA enforcement actions in 2021 were against foreign corporations.
If you are scoring at home, that’s five straight SEC corporate FCPA enforcement involving foreign companies.
The last SEC corporate FCPA enforcement action against a U.S. company was in October 2021 (approximately 1.5 years ago) against Goldman Sachs (see here).
And that enforcement action was preceded by SEC FCPA enforcement actions against J&F Investimentos – a Brazilian company (see here) and Herbalife – a Cayman Islands corporation (see here).
So if you are still scoring at home, that is seven out of the last eight SEC corporate FCPA enforcement actions have been against foreign companies.
Going back a bit further – to August 2019 – and capturing the 20 most recent SEC corporate FCPA enforcement actions, 14 out of the 20 enforcement actions (70%) have been against foreign companies. In addition to the above mentioned FCPA enforcement actions, there have been enforcement actions against Novartis – a Swiss corporation (see here); Eni – an Italian corporation (see here); Ericsson – a Swedish corporation (see here); Westport Fuel Systems – a Canadian corporation (see here); Barclays – a United Kingdom corporation (see here); and TechnipFMC – a United Kingdom company (see here); and Deutsche Bank (again) – a German corporation (see here).
Other than the above mentioned Goldman enforcement action, the only other SEC corporate FCPA enforcement actions in the past approximate 2.5 years to involve U.S. corporations have been World Acceptance, Alexion, Cardinal Health, Quad Graphics, and Juniper.