The FCPA Report

The definitive source of actionable intelligence covering the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act

Current Issue Headlines

Vol. 4, No. 15 (Jul. 22, 2015) Print IssuePrint This Issue

  • PetroTiger’s Counsel Reveals the Defense Strategy That Led to a DOJ Declination

    Three of the company’s senior managers were involved in the bribery scheme, including the CEO (who pled guilty during his trial on June 15), and yet the DOJ declined to prosecute PetroTiger for FCPA violations – its first public declination since Morgan Stanley.  The case is a source of hope for companies with FCPA issues, Timothy Treanor told The FCPA Report.  Treanor, a partner at Sidley Austin who negotiated with the government on behalf of PetroTiger, discussed why he and his team were able to achieve such a favorable result and convince the government that this was indeed the case of a “rogue CEO.”  Treanor emphasized that he thinks the FCPA bar can get further with the government than it may expect, and discussed the self-reporting calculation, the struggle to operate a business during the government investigation, strategies for the negotiation, and more.  See also “Comparing and Contrasting Three FCPA Experts’ Advice on Negotiating FCPA Settlements,” The FCPA Report, Vol. 3, No. 17 (Aug. 20, 2014).

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  • No Discount and a Three-Year Monitor: Dissecting LBI’s $17.1 Million FCPA Settlement

    Securing government contracts through deliberately disguised bribes recently landed Louis Berger International (LBI) in hot water with the DOJ.  The New Jersey-based construction management company agreed to pay $17.1 million to settle charges that it violated the FCPA.  Unlike other companies that have been rewarded for cooperation or self-disclosure with a below-sentencing guidelines fine, the LBI fine was within the statutorily suggested range.  The company was also required, under the terms of the DPA, to engage a corporate monitor for a period of three years, a costly undertaking that the government has been requiring less frequently.  This article explains the bribery scheme and what companies can learn from the settlement.  See “Top FCPA Enforcers Tout Voluntary Disclosure and Warn About International Cooperation; The Defense Bar Responds,” The FCPA Report, Vol. 3, No. 24 (Dec.3, 2014).

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  • Addressing E-Discovery Challenges When Conducting International Investigations

    Conducting e-discovery in a cross-border investigation – a task difficult to avoid in an FCPA probe – presents an array of challenges including compliance with data privacy and other local laws; language and cultural barriers; and data collection issues.  In a guest article, e-discovery experts at Epiq Systems Martin Bonney and Melinda Kunjasich detail those challenges and explain best practices for conducting thorough and cost efficient e-discovery in international investigations.  See also “How to Manage a Multi-National Anti-Corruption Investigation,” The FCPA Report, Vol. 2, No. 6 (Mar. 20, 2013).

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  • Mitigating Corruption Risk in the Middle East (Part One of Two)

    The Middle East lures businesses and investors with eye-popping wealth, rich natural resources and an almost insatiable appetite for growth.  But the region presents a panoply of challenges for those wishing to do business there without running afoul of both American and local anti-corruption laws.  A prevalence of state-owned entities and business-minded royal families; laws requiring third-party facilitators in transactions; and a culture that embraces gift-giving are only some of the corruption risks in the region.  These challenges were recently addressed at a Strafford Publications panel featuring Tom Best, a partner at Steptoe & Johnson in Washington, D.C.; Marc Alain Bohn, counsel at Miller & Chevalier in D.C.; John Vincent Lonsberg, a partner with Baker Botts based in Dubai, U.A.E.; and Daniel P. Chung, of counsel with Gibson Dunn in D.C.  This article series covers some of the insights from the panelists.  This first article addresses the diverse cultural and legal factors that a company needs to be aware of when doing business in the region.  The second article will focus on three specific areas of corruption risk and strategies for mitigating those risks.  See also “Corruption and the Arab Spring: Compliance Implications for International Companies,” The FCPA Report, Vol. 1, No. 4 (Jul. 25, 2012).

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  • EY’s Asia-Pacific Fraud Survey Finds Correlation Between Talent Retention and Ethical Business Conduct

    EY's 2015 Asia-Pacific fraud survey examined the prevalence of third-party and cybersecurity risks and found that although an ethical business culture can help retain talent, significant weaknesses persist in the anti-corruption measures of organizations in the region, especially when it comes to whistleblowers.  This article summarizes the key takeaways from the report.  See also “Ernst & Young’s 2013 Asia-Pacific Fraud Survey Highlights Disconnect Between Company Policies and Employee Perceptions,” The FCPA Report, Vol. 2, No. 20 (Oct. 9, 2013).

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  • International Anti-Corruption Enforcement Roundup

    An executive at Chinese online giant Alibaba is swept up in a bribery probe relating to his work at Tencent, the company’s top competitor.  Swiss regulators travel to Guinea to continue their investigation of Israeli billionaire Beny Steinmetz’s 2008 acquisition of rich iron-ore deposits.  The U.S. Chamber of Commerce’s Center for Capital Markets Competitiveness releases a report calling for reforms in SEC enforcement actions.  The SEC announces a $3 million whistleblower payment – its third highest to date – and launches a civil investigation to determine whether publicly-traded companies violated the FCPA books and records provisions in relation to the FIFA corruption scandal.  The DOJ seeks a $12.5 million forfeiture in a civil suit against the Filipina “pork barrel scam” businesswoman.  China seeks to curb “unhealthy tendencies” in medical procurement and sales and medical services.  Brazil begins an investigation into whether former president Lula da Silva used his influence abroad to benefit Brazilian engineering firm Odebrecht.  Thailand beefs up its anti-graft penalties.

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  • Assistant U.S. Attorney to Rejoin Pillsbury’s Litigation Practice

    Pillsbury recently announced that Assistant United States Attorney and firm alumna Carolina A. Fornos will rejoin the firm as a partner in its New York litigation practice.  During her nine years at the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of New York, Fornos was responsible for investigating and prosecuting federal crimes ranging from money laundering and violations of the Bank Secrecy Act, to bank fraud, bribery, health care fraud and narcotics trafficking.  She handled more than one hundred criminal and civil cases in the S.D.N.Y. and numerous appeals before the Second Circuit Court of Appeals.

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  • Lowenstein Sandler Welcomes Paul Weissman

    Lowenstein Sandler has announced that Paul Weissman will be joining the firm as senior counsel in its white collar practice group.  He will serve clients from the firm’s offices nationwide.  For insight from the firm, see “Should an Individual Defendant Go to Trial on FCPA Charges? Five Important Considerations,” The FCPA Report, Vol. 3, No. 11 (May 28, 2014).  

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