Tagged: FCPA

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...

FCPA Enforcement Actions and Reputational Damage

If you ask members of a corporate board or senior executives about the cost of an FCPA enforcement action, they will candidly acknowledge all of the costs – fines, penalties, and professional costs (e.g. legal, accounting, forensic). These are significant costs and nothing to sneeze or laugh at (however the expression goes). In a moment of candor the board members and C-Suite executives will confess...

Third Party Risk Management Not Just Due Diligence

The term “due diligence” is an overused expression in the compliance world. It has become a term to mean heightened concern or investigation. No one can really define what it means except to say it has different meanings in different contexts. Some would say it is a term of art in the legal and compliance world. It is misleading to add the term “investigation” to...

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...

DOJ and SEC Collect $22 Million from LAN Airlines for Conduct in Resolving Labor Dispute

Last week, the Justice Department (here) and the SEC (here) announced parallel FCPA settlements totaling $22 million in fines, penalties and disgorgement against LAN Airlines, a Chile-based airline, for conduct in resolving a labor dispute in Argentina. In March 2016, the SEC settled a case with LAN’s CEO for approving payments to a consultant, an advisor to the Secretary of Argentina’s Ministry of Transportation, to...

The Power of a Justice Department Declination

Tom Fox and I recorded a podcast recently on the Johnson Controls enforcement action. In our podcast we discuss a number of issues relating to the Justice Department’s decision to reward Johnson Controls with a declination. You can listen to our podcast here. It is always a pleasure to work with Tom and our discussion centered on a number of issues, including DOJ’s FCPA Pilot...

The Importance of Risk Ranking to Compliance

We all face a number of risks every day. Yet, we do not respond to each and every risk. We engage in risk-ranking our responses. Some are more risk than others and some are more catastrophic than others. So, we engage in risk ranking each day and allocate our time and attention accordingly. The same applies, or should apply, when managing a compliance program. Resources...

Johnson Controls Pays $14 Million for China FCPA Violations: DOJ Declines Prosecution

There’s something happening here, but what it is ain’t exactly clear – “For What It’s Worth,” Buffalo Springfield At first glance, the SEC’s recent enforcement action against Johnson Controls for $14 million for FCPA violations in China, along with a Justice Department declination under its new Pilot Program, appears to be a “routine” enforcement matter. Unfortunately, this case was anything but routine and there are...

The FCPA Implications of the Supreme Court’s McDonnell Decision – A Mountain Out of a Molehill?

The Supreme Court’s decision in the McDonnell case was expected. It was evident that the Supreme Court was going to reverse the convictions when it granted a stay of McDonnell’s sentence and agreed to hear the case. Sometimes we all suffer from FCPA myopia and see the world only through the FCPA lens. The McDonnell case has very little that is directly applicable to the...

The SEC’s Love Affair with Internal Controls

The SEC has been flexing its muscles lately. If you had some of the enforcement tools the SEC has, you would be doing the same. What am I referring to? The FCPA statute includes broad provisions requiring companies to maintain adequate internal controls and accurate books and records. If taken literally, these prohibitions can be applied to many situations to support aggressive SEC enforcement actions....