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The Origins Of 2020 Corporate Enforcement Actions


This recent post compared corporate FCPA enforcement actions in 2020 to prior years. However, before a Foreign Corrupt Practices Act enforcement action is announced, scrutiny must first arise.

This post highlights the origins of the 12 core corporate enforcement actions in 2020. (See here for a similar post highlighting the origins of 2019 corporate enforcement actions; here for 2018 corporate enforcement actions; here for 2017 corporate enforcement actions and here for 2016 corporate enforcement actions).

As highlighted in the post, like prior years, 2020 corporate enforcement actions originated in a variety of ways from voluntary disclosures, to pro-active government investigations, to foreign law enforcement investigations.

Voluntary Disclosures (4)

  • Cardinal Health
  • Eni
  • World Acceptance Corp.
  • Beam (The 2020 DOJ enforcement action concerned the same core conduct as the SEC’s 2018 enforcement action. In the 2018 enforcement action, the SEC stated: “Beam voluntarily disclosed this misconduct to the Commission staff and timely shared the facts developed during the course of an internal investigation by a special committee of its board.” In the 2020 DOJ enforcement action, the DOJ stated: “the Company did not receive voluntary disclosure credit … because it did not timely disclose to the DOJ.” In resolving the 2020 DOJ enforcement action, the company stated: “Our company in 2012 initiated and publicly disclosed a thorough and independent investigation in cooperation with the U.S. government and took decisive corrective action.”

Pro-Active Government Investigation / Subpoena  (3)

  • Alexion
  • Herbalife
  • Goldman Sachs

Foreign Law Enforcement Investigation (4)

  • Airbus (U.K. Serious Fraud Office investigation which resulted from an investigation by UK Export Finance)
  • Novartis (South Korea law enforcement investigation)
  • J&F Investimentos (Brazil law enforcement investigation)
  • Vitol (Brazil law enforcement investigation)

Unclear (1)

  • Sargeant Marine

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