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What You Need To Know From Q3


This post provides a summary of Foreign Corrupt Practices Act enforcement activity and related developments from the third quarter of 2021. (See here for Q1 and here for Q2).

DOJ Enforcement (Corporate)

The DOJ did not bring any corporate FCPA enforcement action in the third quarter.

DOJ Enforcement (Individual)

The DOJ announced three individual FCPA enforcement actions in the third quarter.

As highlighted here, in connection with the Djibouti conduct alleged in the 2019 Ericsson enforcement action the DOJ criminally charged Afework “Affe” Bereket (a dual citizen of Ethiopia and Sweden) with FCPA and related offenses.

As highlighted here and here, the DOJ criminally charged Naman Wakil (a Syrian national and U.S. lawful permanent resident) with FCPA and related offenses in connection with alleged bribery schemes in Venezuela.

As highlighted here and here, Anthony Stimler (a U.K. citizen and resident who was a trader at Glencore – a commodities company incorporated in the United Kingdom and headquartered in Switzerland) pleaded guilty to FCPA and related offenses in connection with a bribery scheme in Nigeria.

SEC Enforcement (Corporate)

The SEC brought one corporate FCPA enforcement action in the third quarter. SEC recovery in this action was $19.2 million.

WPP (Sept. 24th)

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: $19.2 million ($10.1 million in disgorgement, $1.1 million in prejudgment interest, and an $8 million penalty)

Origin: Unclear from the resolution documents

Individuals Charged: No

Related DOJ Enforcement Action: No

SEC Enforcement (Individual)

The SEC did not bring any individual FCPA enforcement actions in the third quarter.

Other Developments or Items of Interest

As highlighted here, the First Circuit affirmed a new trial for FCPA defendants Joseph Baptiste and Roger Boncy based on ineffective assistance of counsel.

In a rare judicial decision construing the FCPA’s internal controls provisions, a judge ruled (in connection with a motion to dismiss filed by Roger Ng) that the internal controls provisions can be implicated even in transactions in which an issuer does not use its own assets to pay an alleged bribe. As highlighted here, in the decision the judge also ruled on the intersection of corporate DPA provisions and individual defendant rights.

Amazon is under scrutiny for conduct in India (see here and here).

As discussed here in connection with a bill in Congress, the “Foreign Extortion Prevention Act” is still flawed and the best way to address the so-called “demand” side of bribery is through an FCPA amendment – not be amending 18 USC 201 (the domestic bribery statute) as the bill seeks to accomplish.

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