Top Menu

Slumbering Individual Enforcement Actions

slumberingbear

Most in the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act space learn when the DOJ announces criminal FCPA charges against individuals. Thereafter, the tendency (including by myself) is to sort of forget about many of the individual cases.

However, recently I examined the dockets for all individuals criminally charged with FCPA offenses since January 1, 2017 and was surprised to learn that a meaningful percentage of these cases are slumbering with no substantive activity recorded in quite some time.

Thus, when viewing DOJ FCPA individual enforcement action statistics it is important to keep in mind that many of these cases are slumbering and are not being actively prosecuted.

For instance, as highlighted in this prior post, in January 2017 the DOJ announced FCPA and related charges, against four individuals – including Ban Ki Sang – for their roles in a scheme to pay $2.5 million in bribes to facilitate the $800 million sale of a commercial building in Vietnam to a Middle Eastern sovereign wealth fund. As it relates to Sang, there has been no publicly available substantive case activity since November 2017.

As highlighted in this prior post, in November 2018 the DOJ announced the unsealing of a criminal indictment against Raul Gorrin Belisario (a well-known Venezuelan businessman) who allegedly (among other things) “offered and agreed to pay bribes to Foreign Official 1 [described as a high-level official with decision-making authority and influence within the Oficina Nacional del Tesoro (ONT), the Venezuelan National Treasury] for purposes of obtaining and retaining business. However, other than a superseding indictment since filed, there has been no substantive case activity as to the FCPA charges since.

As highlighted in this prior post in March 2019, in connection with the MTS enforcement action (see here for the prior post), the DOJ also announced FCPA and related criminal charges against Bekhzod Akhmedov (a citizen of Uzbekistan and former executive of Uzdunrobita, an indirect subsidiary of MTS). However, the last meaningful docket entry in the cases is from June 20, 2019.

As highlighted in this prior post, in November 2019 the DOJ announced that Yanliang Li (a citizen of China and former Managing Director of a Chinese division of Herbalife) and Hongwei Yang (a citizen of China and former head the External Affairs Department of a Chinese division of Herbalife) were criminally charged “for their roles in a scheme to violate the anti-bribery and the internal controls provisions of the FCPA.” However, there has been no substantive case activity since.

As highlighted in this prior post, in February 2020, the DOJ announced the unsealing of a 2015 indictment charging Reza Moenaf (the former president of Alstom’s subsidiary in Indonesia), Eko Sulianto (the former director of sales of Alstom’s subsidiary in Indonesia) and Junji Kusunoki (the former deputy general manager of Marubeni’s Overseas Power Project Department) with conspiracy to violate the FCPA and conspiracy to commit money laundering in connection with the same Tarahan power contract the focus (among other conduct) in the 2014 FCPA enforcement action against Alstom. However, since the unsealing of the indictment in February 2020 there has been no substantive case activity.

As highlighted in this prior post, in May 2021 the DOJ announced the unsealing of a February 2019 criminal indictment against Mahamoud Adam Bechir (Chad’s Ambassador to Canada) his wife, Youssouf Hamid Takane (Chad’s former Deputy Chief of Mission for the United States and Canada) and Naeem Riaz Tyab (a citizen of Canada and founding shareholder of Griffiths Energy International) in connection with a bribery scheme in Chad. However, since the unsealing of the indictment in May 2021 there has been no substantive case activity as to Bechir and Takane.

As highlighted in this prior post, in September 2021 the DOJ announced criminal FCPA and related charges against Afework “Affe” Bereket (a dual citizen of Ethiopia and Sweden) in connection with the Djibouti conduct alleged in the 2019 Ericsson enforcement action. Since then, there has been no substantive case activity. As highlighted in this prior post, in June 2022 Bereket (and other former Ericsson executives) were acquitted in Sweden concerning the same core conduct related to Djibouti.

As highlighted in this prior post, in November 2022 Asante Berko (a former Executive Director of Goldman Sachs International) was arrested in London in connection with a six count August 2020 indictment (unsealed in November 2022 in federal court in New York) alleging that he conspired “with at least two Ghanaian officials and four others in a bribery scheme that benefited Goldman, himself and a Turkish energy company that sought to build a power plant in the African nation.” The conduct is the same alleged in the prior SEC enforcement action which Berko resolved in 2021. Since the unsealing of the indictment in 2022, there has not been any meaningful case activity.

By my estimation, the above slumbering individual FCPA enforcement actions comprise approximately 20% of all individual FCPA enforcement actions the DOJ has brought since January 1, 2017.

Powered by WordPress. Designed by WooThemes