Tagged: FCPA

Mondelez FCPA Enforcement Action — An Abuse of Prosecutorial Discretion?

The first FCPA enforcement action for 2017 landed with very little fanfare. The SEC reached a settlement with Mondelez International for $13 million. The facts surround the hiring of an agent in India and the failure of Mondelez to monitor and conduct basic due diligence on the third-party agent. Kraft Foods acquired Cadbury, a UK candy and beverage company. Kraft Foods renamed itself Mondelez after...

A New Administration: A New FCPA Enforcement Regime?

Now that the dust has settled on this turbulent campaign season, everyone is in the prediction game, especially when it comes to FCPA enforcement. It is easy to make predictions of significant change. It is easy to take campaign rhetoric and assume that such rhetoric will result in quick and immediate change. As a veteran of transfers of power (being an old D.C. lawyer), I...

Due Diligence Basics – Beneficial Ownership

I hate to be the harbinger of bad news; that is against my nature; I am naturally an optimistic person. As I always say, there are solutions to every problem. Many companies have responded to third party risks and built effective risk management programs. It is perhaps one of the most significant changes in the compliance landscape – third parties create significant risks and companies...

DOJ and SEC Raising the Stakes on Third Party Risk Management

If you review the last ten years of FCPA enforcement, the unmistakable pattern is rising expectations with regard to corporate compliance programs, particularly with regard to third party due diligence and risk management. Over the course of numerous enforcement actions, DOJ and the SEC have reached the point now where they are questioning not just the conduct of due diligence but the quality of due...

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...