Ten years ago, what were you doing?
Ten years ago FCPA Professor was a young website devoted to covering the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act and related topics.
This post highlights what was making news a decade ago in the FCPA and related spaces.
As highlighted here, the SEC formally established an FCPA Unit and announced a series of measures “to further strengthen its enforcement program by encouraging greater cooperation from individuals and companies in the agency’s investigations and enforcement actions.” “New cooperation” tools included deferred prosecution agreements and non-prosecution agreements. Fast forward to the present day and the last time the SEC has used a DPA or NPA to resolve an FCPA enforcement action has been 2016.
As highlighted here and here, the DOJ announced that 22 “executives and employees of companies in the military and law enforcement products industry” were charged with FCPA offenses for engaging in a scheme to bribe an African foreign official. However, there was no real foreign official, but rather FBI agents, with the assistance of an individual who actually violated the FCPA, posing as an African defense minister. The so-called Africa Sting case ended up being a debacle for the DOJ.
As highlighted here, the DOJ and United Kingdom Serious Fraud Office announced resolution of an enforcement action against BAE Systems. As highlighted here, even though the DOJ alleged that BAE “provided substantial benefits” to a Saudi official in a position of influence regarding fighter jet sales and even though BAE “provided these benefits through various payment mechanisms both in the territorial jurisdiction of the U.S. and elsewhere,” BAE was not charged with any FCPA offenses.
Demonstrating that foreign law enforcement cooperation in a bribery inquiry is not something new but was already happening a decade ago, as highlighted here Innospec got hit with a bribery enforcement action on both sides of the Atlantic by the DOJ and the U.K. Serious Fraud Office.
As highlighted here, Daimler resolved an FCPA enforcement action alleging that it “made hundreds of improper payments worth tens of millions of dollars to foreign officials in at least 22 countries – including China, Croatia, Egypt, Greece, Hungary, Indonesia, Iraq, Ivory Coast, Latvia, Nigeria, Russia, Serbia and Montenegro, Thailand, Turkey, Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan, Vietnam, and others – to assist in securing contracts with government customers for the purchase of Daimler vehicles valued at hundreds of millions of dollars.”