DOJ Issues Declination and Disgorgement Under FCPA Corporate Enforcement Policy
In a recently released letter (here), the Justice Department issued a declination to the Insurance Corporation of Barbados Limited (ICBL) for violations of the FCPA under the FCPA Corporate Enforcement Policy. DOJ required ICBL to pay approximately $93,000 in disgorgement.
ICBL paid approximately $36,000 in bribes to Donville Innis, a Barbadian government official, in exchange for government contracts worth approximately $686,000 and $93,000 in profits.
Donville Innis was arrested and charged with money laundering in early August 2018. (Copy of Indictment Here).
High level employees of ICBL arranged payments of bribes to Donville Innis, who was a member of the Parliament of Barbados and Minister of Industry, International Business, Commerce and Small business Development of Barbados. In exchange Innis secured two government contracts for ICBL.
Innis, who is a US permanent resident arranged to receive the payments through a U.S. bank account in the name of a dental company that was located in the U.S. and owned by a friend, who is a U.S. citizen. Innis’ friend then arranged for the transfer of the funds to a bank account in Innis’ name in Tampa, Florida.
In applying the FCPA Corporate Enforcement Policy, the Justice Department cited compliance with the following factors: (1) ICBL’s timely, voluntary disclosure of the violations; (2) ICBL’s thorough and comprehensive investigation; (3) ICBL’s cooperation in this matter and provision of all known relevant facts about the misconduct and its agreement to continue to cooperate in the Department’s ongoing investigation; (4) ICBL’s agreement to disgorge all profits earned from the illegal conduct; (5) ICBL’s improvement to its compliance program; (6) ICBL’s remediation, including its termination of all executives and employees involved in the misconduct; and (7) the fact that the Justice Department has been able to identify and charge the culpable individuals.
Under the FCPA Corporate Enforcement Policy, a company can be precluded from a declination if high-level executives are involved in the misconduct. The Justice Department noted the presence of this factor but awarded the declination based on the above-listed factors.
It is not clear if the Justice Department intends to prosecute any of the ICBL executives referred to in the Innis Indictment. The three ICBL executives are referenced in the Indictment, and Innis’ friend who assisted in transferring the funds is referred to as a co-conspirator.
The Justice Department’s award of a declination to ICBL demonstrates again its commitment to the FCPA Corporate Enforcement Policy. The public release of the Justice Department’s letter is evidence of its desire to encourage other companies to voluntarily disclose illegal conduct to seek a declination.