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The Percentage Of SEC FCPA Enforcement Actions That Also Involve A DOJ Component

percentage

The only category of actor that both the DOJ and SEC can bring a Foreign Corrupt Practices Act enforcement action against are “issuers” (the 78dd-1 portion of the FCPA).

The other two categories of actors covered by the FCPA, “domestic concerns” (78dd-2) and “persons other than issuers or domestic concerns” (78dd-3) are only subject to DOJ FCPA enforcement actions.

This post analyzes the percentage of SEC FCPA enforcement that also involve a DOJ component.

Before highlighting the yearly and aggregate statistics, it is not surprising that the DOJ does not join every issuer FCPA enforcement action brought by the SEC. Even though the DOJ and SEC are almost never put in a position to prove an FCPA violation against an issuer, theoretically the DOJ’s burden of proof is a very high beyond a reasonable doubt whereas the SEC’s civil burden of proof is merely a preponderance of the evidence.

As highlighted below, between 2010 – 2021, the SEC has brought 134 corporate enforcement actions and the DOJ was involved in 69 of the 134 (51%) enforcement actions.

The below numbers also highlight a meaningful shift in dual SEC and DOJ enforcement actions.

Between 2010 and 2015, the SEC brought 64 corporate enforcement actions and the DOJ was involved in 38 of the 64 (59%) enforcement actions.

Between 2016 and 2021, the SEC brought 70 corporate enforcement actions and the DOJ was involved in 31 of the 70 (44%) enforcement actions.

2021

The SEC brought 4 corporate enforcement actions and the DOJ was involved in 2 of the 4 (50%) enforcement actions.

2020

The SEC brought 8 corporate enforcement actions and the DOJ was involved in 4 of the 8 (50%) enforcement actions.

2019

The SEC brought 13 corporate enforcement actions and the DOJ was involved in 6 of the 13 (46%) enforcement actions.

2018

The SEC brought 14 corporate enforcement actions and the DOJ was involved in 5 of the 14 (36%) enforcement actions.

2017

The SEC brought 7 corporate enforcement actions and the DOJ was involved in 3 of the 7 (43%) enforcement actions.

2016

The SEC brought 24 corporate enforcement actions and the DOJ was involved in 11 of the 24 (46%) enforcement actions.

2015

The SEC brought 9 corporate enforcement actions and the DOJ was involved in 0 of the 9 (0%) enforcement actions.

2014

The SEC brought 7 corporate enforcement actions and the DOJ was involved in 4 of the 7 (57%) enforcement actions.

2013

The SEC brought 8 corporate enforcement actions and the DOJ was involved in 6 of the 8 (75%) enforcement actions.

2012

The SEC brought 8 corporate enforcement actions and the DOJ was involved in 5 of the 8 (63%) enforcement actions.

2011

The SEC brought 13 corporate enforcement actions and the DOJ was involved in 8 of the 13 (62%) enforcement actions.

2010

The SEC brought 19 corporate enforcement actions and the DOJ was involved in 15 of the 19 (79%) enforcement actions.

 

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