Thursday, April 15, 2021

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Braskem Discloses New Investigation into Corruption Claims in Mexico

Brazilian petrochemical company Braskem SA has disclosed to the SEC that it has opened an internal investigation into allegations made last year by Emilio Lozoya, the former CEO of Petróleos Mexicanos (Pemex), of “improper payments” related to an ethylene project in Mexico. Lozoya alleges that he accepted bribes from construction giant Odebrecht AS, Braskem’s parent […]
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DOJ’s Foreign Bribery Unit Builds on Successful Year with New Hires

The Biden Administration has the pieces in place for aggressive Foreign Corrupt Practices Act enforcement. Last year, the FCPA unit played a part in levying a record-high $7.84 billion in global penalties for corruption-related misconduct, despite the pandemic. The DOJ’s foreign bribery unit has now grown to a record-setting 39 prosecutors, and has hired Lauren […]
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Review of DOJ’s Settlement with Deutsche Bank for FCPA and Spoofing Fraud Violations

Deutsche Bank, the infamous German bank connected to former President Trump, settled FCPA and fraud cases with the Justice Department and the SEC, and agreed to pay a total of $130 million. In this episode of “Corruption, Crime & Compliance,” Michael Volkov reviews the Deutsche Bank settlement. Source: Volkov Law: Review of DOJ’s Settlement with […]
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Koehler on the Broad Scope and Inconsistent Enforcement of the FCPA

Mike Koehler argues that the name of the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act has always obscured the broader scope of the law, to the point that most FCPA enforcement actions against violations of the books and records and internal controls provisions “have nothing to do with foreign bribery.” As an example, he cites the recent SEC […]
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FCPA Scrutiny of Philips Adds Conduct in Bulgaria

Mike Koehler looks again at the recurring scrutiny of Philips, a Netherlands-based company with shares listed on the NYSE. He notes that in 2013 it resolved a $4.5 million enforcement action concerning conduct in Poland, in 2019 it came under scrutiny concerning conduct in Brazil and China, and in a recent SEC filing it disclosed […]
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The Most Ethical Companies Sometimes Violate the FCPA

Mike Koehler notes the irony that Ethisphere’s annual “World’s Most Ethical Company” list includes several companies that have resolved FCPA enforcement actions. This is because Ethisphere assesses more than 200 data points in producing its list, and because FCPA liability can apply to misconduct by employees of a company with good policies and procedures, that […]
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Record Level of FCPA Enforcement in 2020 Highlights Key Risk Areas

The year 2020 witnessed a record level of $2.78 billion in corporate fines and penalties from enforcement of the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act by the DOJ and SEC. It also witnessed continued close cooperation by the DOJ and SEC with enforcement authorities in other countries, resulting in billions of additional dollars in fines and penalties […]
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NDAA Amended SEC’s Disgorgement Authority

Included in the NDAA for 2021 was an amendment to the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, which gives the SEC explicit statutory authority to seek disgorgement in federal district court. David Levintow of George Washington University Law School argues that this does not override last year’s Supreme Court decision in Liu v. SEC, which upheld […]
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The Corporate Transparency Act

A new federal law will require certain U.S. entities to report the personal information of their beneficial owners to the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN) of the Department of the Treasury. “Reporting companies” will be required to disclose to the federal government the personal information of beneficial owners, including name, address, date of birth, and […]
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SEC Commissioner Hester Peirce Objects to FCPA Settlement Terms

Following up on a June 2020 article about SEC Commissioner Hester Peirce, and her objections to many of the SEC’s FCP Enforcement actions, Mike Koehler identifies her objections to all seven FCPA enforcement actions brought by the SEC since then. In six of them, she objected to anywhere from 85 percent to 100 percent of […]
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