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What You Need To Know From Q2


This post provides a summary of Foreign Corrupt Practices Act enforcement activity and related developments from the second quarter of 2021. (See here for Q1).

DOJ Enforcement (Corporate)

The DOJ brought one corporate FCPA enforcement action in the second quarter. DOJ recovery in this action was net $7.6 million.

 Amec Foster Wheeler (June 25)

See here and here for prior posts.

Charges: Conspiracy to violate the FCPA’s anti-bribery provisions

Resolution Vehicle: Deferred Prosecution Agreement

Guidelines Range: $24.5 – $49 million

Settlement: Net $7.6 million (after credits for related foreign law enforcement actions)

Origin: Requests for information from the DOJ/SEC

Monitor: No

Individuals Charged: No

DOJ Enforcement (Individual)

As highlighted here, the DOJ announced FCPA and related charges in relation to Griffiths Energy International’s bribery scheme involving Chad.

As highlighted here, Jose Carlos Grubisich (the former CEO and a member of the board of directors of Braskem) pleaded guilty to previously filed FCPA charges in connection with the 2016 FCPA enforcement action against Braskem and Odebrecht.

As highlighted here, in the second quarter the DOJ charged several individuals with non-FCPA offenses, even though the DOJ alleged that the individuals violated the FCPA.

SEC Enforcement (Corporate)

The SEC brought one corporate FCPA enforcement action in the second quarter. SEC recovery in this action was net $10.1 million.

Amec Foster Wheeler (June 25)

See here and here for prior posts.

Charges:  None (administrative order findings violations of the FCPA’s ant-bribery, books and records and internal controls provisions)

Settlement: Net $10.1 million (after credits for related foreign law enforcement actions)

Origin: Requests for information from the DOJ/SEC

Individuals Charged: No

Related DOJ Enforcement Action: Yes

SEC Enforcement (Individual)

The SEC did not announce any new FCPA enforcement actions in the second quarter. However, as highlighted here Asante Berko (a former Executive Director of Goldman Sachs International) resolved a 2020 SEC FCPA enforcement action concerning conduct in Ghana by agreeing to pay $329,163.92 (disgorgement of $275,000 along with prejudgment interest of $54,163.92).

Other Developments or Items of Interest

As highlighted here, the Supreme Court once again unanimously bench slapped a wayward enforcement agency and as highlighted here, the Supreme Court once again rejected the DOJ’s overly expansive interpretation of a criminal statute.

As highlighted here, in connection with the 2018 FCPA enforcement action against Panasonic, the SEC announced that a whistleblower was awarded $28 million.

The DOJ announced a series of steps to increase its focus on investigations, prosecutions, and asset recoveries relating to corruption in the “Northern Triangle” countries of Guatemala, Honduras and El Salvador. (See here).

President Biden released a memo titled “Memorandum on Establishing the Fight Against Corruption as a Core United States National Security Interest.” In pertinent part, the memo states that “countering corruption [is] a core United States national security interest” and Biden pledged that his “Administration will lead efforts to promote good governance; bring transparency to the United States and global financial systems; prevent and combat corruption at home and abroad; and make it increasingly difficult for corrupt actors to shield their activities.” Some suggested that “President Biden introduced a big idea into the global debate when he declared that combating corruption is a ‘core U.S. national security interest.” However, as highlighted here, U.S. government officials have long maintained that Foreign Corrupt Practices Act enforcement (one way in which the U.S. government attempts to address corruption) is necessary to protect national security. Indeed, national security is a reason not to enforce the FCPA as specifically stated in the statute.

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