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Slumbering Individual FCPA 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 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 February 2018 the DOJ announced criminal charges against (among others) Nervis Gerardo Villalobos Cardenas in connection with an alleged bribery scheme to secure energy contracts from Venezuela’s state-owned and state-controlled energy company, PDVSA.  There has been no meaningful case activity since September 2019.

As highlighted in this prior post in November 2018 the DOJ announced that Low Taek Jho (Jho Low) (among others) was charged with FCPA offenses for paying bribes to various Malaysian and Abu Dhabi officials in connection with 1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB), Malaysia’s state-owned and state-controlled investment development company. As it relates to Jho Low, other than a superseding indictment since filed, there has been no substantive case activity since.

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 September 2019 the DOJ announced the unsealing of a criminal indictment against (among others) Paulo Casqueiro-Murta in connection with an alleged bribery scheme involving Venezuela’s state-owned and state-controlled energy company, PDVSA.  As it relates to Casqueiro-Murta, there has been no meaningful case activity since.

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.

By my estimation, the above slumbering individual FCPA enforcement actions comprise approximately 25% of all individual FCPA enforcement actions the DOJ has brought since January 1, 2017.

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