DOJ Issues Declination to Global Insurance Company Under FCPA Enforcement Policy
The Justice Department continues its enforcement “silence” with no major corporate prosecutions announced this year. It is an interesting question but it appears that the wheels have ground to a halt, with one major exception – prosecutors are bringing cases against individuals. Inside the Justice Department corporate criminal FCPA enforcement has been held up.
For FCPA practitioners and commentators, that leaves individual cases and corporate scraps to pick through.
Quietly two weeks ago, DOJ released a letter declining to prosecute Jardine Lloyd Thompson Group Holdings Ltd (JLT) for FCPA violations under its Corporate Enforcement Policy. In exchange for the declination, JLT agreed to pay disgorgement of approximately $29 million. In 2019, JLT was acquired by Marsh & McLennan.
JLT’s resolution is an example of DOJ’s FCPA Corporate Enforcement policy and the availability of the presumption of a declination when a company voluntarily discloses the conduct, cooperates with the investigation and implements remedial steps in response to the misconduct.
As outlined in the declination letter, during the period 2014 through 2016, JLT, though its employee and agents, paid approximately $10.8 million to a Florida-based third-party to pay $3.157 million in bribes to Ecuadoran government officials to secure contracts with Seguros Sucre, the Ecuadorian state-owned surety company. Roughly $1.2 million of the $3.157 used to pay bribes was laundered through United States banks.
Applying the Corporate Enforcement Policy factors, DOJ found that: (JLT voluntarily disclosed the bribery misconduct; (2) JLT fully and proactively cooperated with the investigation; (3) JLT remediated the misconduct, timely and fully, by separating from the executive and third-[party intermediary responsible for the bribery scheme and by enhancing its ethics and compliance program; and (4) JLT agreed to disgorge $29 million as ill-gotten gains.
DOJ agreed to credit the disgorgement amount against any amount JLT is required to pay the U.K. Serious Fraud Office (SFO) up to 100 percent of the disgorgement amount for payment of any monies to the SFO for the same underlying conduct.