FCPA Professor LLC

Described as “the Wall Street Journal concerning all things FCPA-related,” and "the most authoritative source for those seeking to understand and apply the FCPA," FCPA Professor has been named a Top Law Blog for in-house counsel by Corporate Counsel, a Top 25 Business Law Blog by LexisNexis, and a top 100 Legal Blog by the American Bar Association. FCPA Professor readers include a world-wide audience of attorneys, business and compliance professionals, government agencies, scholars and students, journalists and other interested persons.

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As highlighted in this prior post, in late 2016 the DOJ and SEC brought a Foreign Corrupt Practices Act enforcement action against Odebrecht S.A. (a Brazilian holding company) and Braskem S.A. (a Brazil-based petrochemical company with shares traded on the NYSE in which Odebrecht owned a majority of voting shares). The conduct at issue was egregious and largely centered on a business unit, the Division of Structured Operations, housed within an Odebrecht subsidiary that allegedly…
Avantor Avantor is a chemicals and materials company headquartered in Pennsylvania. Recently, various Republican Senators sent this letter to DOJ and SEC leadership requesting an investigation into the company “for its apparent longstanding contribution to the opioid epidemic that killed 50,000 of our fellow citizens in 2019 ….”. Although the letter does not allege any bribery, it does reference the FCPA’s books and records and internal controls provisions and states in pertinent part: “Avantor’s conduct…
We are all prone to using vague and ambiguous terms or cliches or buzzwords at times. However, in my opinion, many in the compliance community seem to have developed a vocabulary all of their own that, at first blush, sounds sophisticated but in reality is merely gobbledygook masquerading as expertise. This recent post by a respected compliance practitioner is a good example. The main point of the relatively short post titled “A comprehensive anti-bribery policy is…
In early 2010, the SEC (see here) 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.” The SEC’s then Director of Enforcement called the measures “a potential game-changer for the Division of Enforcement.” Among the measures the SEC adopted was use of deferred prosecution agreements and non-prosecution agreements – resolution vehicles the SEC described as “tools [that] have been…
Remember when Acting Principal Deputy Assistant Attorney General Trevor McFadden stated that it was the DOJ’s “intent … for our FCPA investigations to be measured in months, not years.” This statement was made four years ago this week (see here for the prior post). However, like much DOJ rhetoric surrounding the FCPA, it was just empty words. As highlighted below, since the DOJ’s statement of intention it has resolved approximately 30 corporate enforcement actions and the…
A guest post from Jon May (Jones Walker LLP) Today we ask the question: “What evidence does the United States Department of Justice or the United States Sentencing Commission have that compliance programs actually prevent crime.” The short answer is that there is none. Let’s talk about why. In the 21 years since the Department of Justice decided to consider a company’s efforts to prevent its employees from committing crimes, in determining the most appropriate…
Recently Raymond Kohut (a Canadian citizen who lived in the Bahamas and worked in business development for Gunvor Group Ltd., a Switzerland based commodities firm) pleaded guilty in connection with an Ecuador bribery scheme. Similar to the DOJ’s recent money laundering charges against Jorge Cherrez Mino and John Robert Luzuriaga Aguinaga in connection with a bribery scheme in Ecuador (see here for the prior post), the DOJ’s allegations against Kohut provide a jurisdictional basis for FCPA…
The most recent edition of the always informative FCPA Update from Debevoise & Plimpton has a lead article titled “Hiring a Foreign Official’s Family and Friends: The “Thing of Value” Under the FCPA.” The article does a nice job summarizing the key points of the six internship and hiring practices enforcement actions since 2015 (BNY Mellon, Qualcomm, JP Morgan, Credit Suisse, Deutsche Bank and Barclays). The article begins: “In these hiring cases, the SEC and…
Today’s post is from Cuneyt Akay (Greenberg Traurig). 2021 is off to a slow start…at least in terms of FCPA corporate enforcement.  The DOJ has only announced one corporate settlement so far in 2021, and the SEC has had no corporate enforcement cases. Many prognosticators were predicting big things for FCPA enforcement in 2021.  A perfect storm was brewing for 2021 FCPA enforcement.  Corporate enforcement set a record in 2019, which was then eclipsed in…
One year ago this week seems like yesterday, yet at the same time seems like years and years ago. Last year around this time, it was hard not to think about COVID from a profession standpoint and any potential impact on FCPA compliance and enforcement. (See here for a roundup of some of the earliest articles, etc). Several COVID-related posts appeared on FCPA Professor as well approximately one year ago. In this post titled “The…