Tagged: bribery

Trafigura’s Bribery Scheme: Clandestine Meetings, 3rd Parties and Shell Companies (Part II of III)

Trafigura’s Bribery Scheme: Clandestine Meetings, 3rd Parties and Shell Companies (Part II of III)

Trafigura’s bribery scheme resembles the same schemes implemented by its significant competitors — Vitol, Glencore, Gunvor.  At the core of the conduct, Petrobras and Brazilian government officials collected bribes in exchange for valuable contracts for Petrobras oil.  The factual statement reflects DOJ’s extensive knowledge base in the international commodity trading industry — DOJ had access to several significant cooperating witnesses, including Petrobras officials and trader...

Freepoint FCPA Settlement: Incendiary Mix of Commodities Trading and Third-Party Risks (Part II of II)

Freepoint FCPA Settlement: Incendiary Mix of Commodities Trading and Third-Party Risks (Part II of II)

Perhaps it is fitting to end this unusual FCPA enforcement year with another in a series of compliance reminders — the quickest way to experience a bribery scandal is to ignore third-party risks.  This has been a continuing theme this year and Freepoint is yet another example of why managing third-party risks is so important to any anti-bribery compliance program. The relevant facts underlying the...

DOJ and CFTC Close Out Slow FCPA Enforcement Year with $98 Million Resolution with Freepoint Commodities LLC (Part I of II)

DOJ and CFTC Close Out Slow FCPA Enforcement Year with $98 Million Resolution with Freepoint Commodities LLC (Part I of II)

The Justice Department’s FCPA enforcement record for 2024 was slow.  This  trend was unexpected, contrary to my own predictions and of various other prognosticators.  It is hard to explain why this slowdown occurred. DOJ’s record is hard to square against DOJ official speeches, statements and policy changes, which all were premised on an expectation of increased enforcement over prior years.  In its last FCPA enforcement...

Lessons Learned from the Tysers Insurance Brokers and H.W. Wood Limited FCPA Settlements (Part III of III)

Lessons Learned from the Tysers Insurance Brokers and H.W. Wood Limited FCPA Settlements (Part III of III)

The Tysers and Wood FCPA settlements reflect something old and something new in the FCPA enforcement world.  On the old side, at the core of the FCPA violations was the critical role played by the intermediary company.  Unlike most third-party FCPA cases, where a third-party may be enlisted to further a bribery scheme by funneling payments directly to a foreign official, the intermediary in the...

The Ins and Outs of the Ghana Bribery Scheme (Part II of II)

This is a very complicated case, Maude. You know, a lotta ins, a lotta outs, a lotta what-have-yous. And, uh, a lotta strands to keep in my head, man. Lotta strands in old Duder’s head. – The Dude, The Big Lebowski Each FCPA case provides valuable lessons in the mechanics of bribery schemes and the common techniques used by violators to secure funds and make illegal payments to...

Goldman Sachs Official Indicted Over Ghana Bribery Scheme (Part I of II)

Talk about a reminder of the past, Asante Berko, a former Executive Director in Goldman Sachs, recently was arrested in London on criminal FCPA charges arising from his involvement in a bribery scheme in Ghana. The surprising part of the case was the delay in his arrest – over 2 years.  In 2020, Berko was charged by the SEC for FCPA violations.  He settled the...

Bribery in the Pharmaceutical Industry — Avanir Pharma

We always focus on foreign bribery — the FCPA and corporate bribery of foreign officials.  It is certainly a problem that undermines economic development and human rights. However, bribery and corruption is real and significant in the United States, from local to state to federal government officials, the news is filled with instances of bribery and corruption.  Wherever there is money flowing, there is sure...

Episode 248 — Deep Dive into the GOL Brazil FCPA Enforcement Action

The Department of Justice and the Securities and Exchange Commission reached a $41 million settlement with GOL Linhas Aéreas Inteligentes S.A. (“GOL”) to resolve criminal and civil foreign bribery charges. GOL entered into a three-year deferred prosecution agreement (“DPA”) with DOJ in exchange for payment of a $17 million criminal penalty. DOJ credited $1.7 million of that penalty against a $3.4 million fine that GOL agreed...

Justice Department Announces FCPA Charges Against Two Individuals for Bribery of Marshall Islands Officials

Justice Department Announces FCPA Charges Against Two Individuals for Bribery of Marshall Islands Officials

The Justice Department announced the indictment in New York of Cary Yan, a Chinese entrepreneur, and Gina Zhou, his assistant, on FCPA and money laundering charges relating to a scheme to secure control of an atoll owned by the Republic of the Marshall Islands (RMI).  Yan and Zhou paid bribes to elected officials in the RMI in exchange for passing specific legislation.  Yan and Zhou...

Episode 238: 2022 FCPA Enforcement Trends . . . So Far

Episode 238: 2022 FCPA Enforcement Trends . . . So Far

In following the Justice Department and the Securities Exchange Commission FCPA enforcement actions, I am always reminded of the popular phrase — “reading the tea leaves.” (or “tasseography,” a fortune-telling method based on tea leave patterns in tea sediments). Despite a slow initial year in 2021, the Biden Administration’s stamp and push on FCPA enforcement is becoming clear.  Keep in mind, DOJ and SEC officials have...