So-called “issuers” under the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (that is companies with shares traded on a U.S. exchange or otherwise with reporting obligations to the Securities and Exchange Commission) are subject to both Securities and Exchange Commission and Department of Justice FCPA enforcement.
However, many FCPA enforcement actions against issuers are SEC only and lack a DOJ component. Although FCPA enforcement agencies rarely have to “prove” an FCPA case against issuers (rather issuers typically resolve an enforcement action through a resolution vehicle not subjected to any meaningful judicial scrutiny), theoretically the DOJ in a criminal action has a much higher burden of proof (beyond a reasonable doubt) compared to the SEC in a civil action (preponderance of the evidence).
Regardless of the reasons for SEC enforcement actions against issuers that lack a DOJ component, set forth below are the 20 largest SEC only FCPA enforcement actions.
|1. Credit Suisse*||$99 million||2021|
|2. Eli Lilly||$29.3 million||2012|
|3. Halliburton||$29.2 million||2017|
|4. Sanofi||$25.2 million||2018|
|5. Novartis||$25 million||2016|
|6. BHP Billiton||$25 million||2015|
|8. General Electric / Ionics / Amersham||$23.5 million||2010|
|9. World Acceptance||$21.7 million||2020|
|10. Alexion Pharmaceuticals||$21.5 million||2020|
|11. GlaxoSmithKline||$20 million||2016|
|12. WPP||$19.2 million||2021|
|13. Hitachi||$19 million||2015|
|14. Diageo||$16.4 million||2011|
|15. Goodyear||$16.2 million||2015|
|16. Deutsche Bank||$16.2 million||2019|
|17. BNY Mellon||$14.8 million||2015|
|18. Bristol-Myers Squibb||$14.7 million||2015|
|19. Aon||$14.5 million||2011|
|20. Johnson Controls||$14.4 million||2016|
* The DOJ enforcement action against Credit Suisse, while involving the same general core conduct, was not an FCPA enforcement action (see here).