Secrets. We all have them. It’s human nature to keep them. But given recent enforcement actions initiated by whistleblowers, one thing is clear: a good secret has a high price tag.
Entries in Kara Brockmeyer (10)
In the e-book we wrote as a guide to navigating corruption challenges in emerging markets, we talk in one chapter about the particular risks companies face when they enter new markets.
The Securities and Exchange Commission Monday charged Tokyo-based conglomerate Hitachi, Ltd. with violating the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act when it inaccurately recorded improper payments to South Africa’s ruling political party in connection with contracts to build two multi-billion dollar power plants.
The Securities and Exchange Commission Tuesday said BNY Mellon agreed to pay $14.8 million to settle charges that it violated the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act by providing valuable student internships to family members of foreign government officials affiliated with a Middle Eastern sovereign wealth fund.
Several articles over the past few days have reported that the DOJ and SEC are quietly revising A Resource Guide to the FCPA, the joint guidance the agencies issued on November 14, 2012, including one article that suggested these revisions occurred as recently as June of this year (see also here and here). In fact, the more substantive of the changes flagged by these articles were made on or before December 9, 2012, less than 30 days after the release of the Guide, in response to feedback practitioners provided to the agencies.
Many of us scratched our head in 2010 when the Oracle FCPA enforcement action came out. We didn't understand how a company could be prosecuted, even civilly by the SEC for internal controls or book and records violations, without evidence that bribes had been paid. But after the past few months, I think Oracle was a precursor to a strict liability standard that's coming to FCPA enforcement.
Commercial bribery is prohibited by many anti-corruption laws throughout the world, such as the UK Bribery Act (UKBA). The anti-bribery provisions of the U.S. Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA) focus on official bribery, however, leaving commercial bribery to be pursued by U.S. law enforcement, if at all, under a variety of federal statutes lacking the reach and impact of the FCPA.
There are a number of best practices that those participating in global FCPA investigations should understand, noted Charles Duross, Deputy Chief of the FCPA Unit in the Criminal Division of the Department of Justice (DOJ). They must set realistic expectations; know what to look for and have solutions to get the evidence; respect the sovereignty of other nations; and give credit for corporate remediation efforts.
The Securities and Exchange Commission on Monday said acting director George Canellos and former federal prosecutor Andrew Ceresney will share leadership of the enforcement division as co-directors.