Tagged: bribery

DOJ Sweeps Up Two More Defendants in PDVSA Criminal Investigation

The Justice Department’s sprawling and successful prosecution of bribery and money laundering surrounding PDVSA, Venezuela’s state-owned energy company, shows no signs of letting up.  DOJ’s prosecutions began in 2015, and with the recent announcement of two new defendants, DOJ’s scorecard has reached a total of 21 defendants, 15 of whom have pleaded guilty.  Given PDVSA’s reputation for corruption, which is well earned (or as I...

DOJ Arrests Micronesian Official and Hawaii-Based Businessman Pleads Guilty to FCPA Violation

In January 2019, the Justice Department brought an interesting FCPA prosecution involving a Hawaii-based businessman, Frank James Lyon, and Master Halbert, a government official from Micronesia.  DOJ’s prosecution was interesting for two significant reasons – first, it was another example of DOJ enforcement efforts against the payor of the bribe for violating the FCPA and the recipient of the bribe, the foreign official, for money...

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....

SBM Offshore Finally Reaches the Finish Line and Settles FCPA Case for $238 Million

In a follow-on prosecution and end to a twisted investigation and enforcement path, SBM Offshore agreed to settle an FCPA enforcement matter for $238 million (including a $500,000 criminal fine and $13.2 million forfeiture). Under the agreement, SBM offshore entered into a three-year deferred prosecution agreement (DPA, copy here), and a US subsidiary entered a guilty plea to one count of FCPA conspiracy. The Justice...

COSO Framework: Fraud, Corruption and Compliance (Part I of II)

Global companies need to actively work to prevent fraud and corruption. Fraud and corruption go hand-in-hand. To commit bribery, bad actors have to gain access to money for unauthorized (illegal) purposes. A failure to prevent fraud and corruption can have significant legal, financial and reputational consequences. Luckily, companies are devoting additional resources to assess fraud and bribery risks with specific focus on internal financial and...

Anti-Corruption Compliance: The Need to Look Under the Cloak of Materiality

Sarbanes-Oxley revolutionized the auditing profession. Section 404 imposed stringent requirements for disclosure of the state of a company’s internal controls and financial reporting. The company’s independent auditor is required to report on the effectiveness of the company’s internal controls, and include bribery, theft and fraud. The requirements are intended to prevent a material misstatement of the company’s financial statements. The key term of art surrounding...

Lessons Learned from AstraZeneca’s $5.5 Million SEC FCPA Settlement

Last week, the SEC added another pharmaceutical company to its list of FCPA violators when AstraZeneca agreed to a $5.5 million settlement with the SEC. AZ is now the 25th drug or medical device company to pay an FCPA penalty for violating the FCPA. AZ’s violations were not limited to China as a number of recent FCPA enforcement actions against drug/medical device companies, but included...

Anti-Corruption, Sanctions and Export and Import Risks

Forgive me for overusing the term “convergence” but when the shoe fits, I say “wear it.”   If you are managing corporate risks and are responsible for securing export licenses, ensuring that you are complying with OFAC sanctions requirements, interacting with customs and immigration officials around the globe, and conducting third party due diligence to onboard a new agent or distributor, there is no question that...

Drug Companies and Charitable Patient Foundations

Charitable organizations can easily become enmeshed in Justice Department enforcement issues. We have seen charities used in FCPA cases as a means to funnel bribes to government officials, spouses or family members. In the domestic world of drugs and anti-kickback laws, drug company relationships with patient foundations are now being examined for possible violation of anti-kickback laws. Government scrutiny of drug prices is occurring on...

FCPA Compliance: Does “Anything of Value” Really Mean “Anything of Value”?

The FCPA statute is not as vague as some contend. I remember the words of a former FTC Chairperson who told me once – “The Clayton Act is not vague. I just read the law and apply it to the facts.” Not to be too simplistic, I recognize there are legitimate disputes surrounding application of the FCPA to specific situations. As one example, I have...