investigation

All you criminal procedure mavens out there might be interested in a ruling from a federal district court in New Jersey this week, where two business executives facing FCPA charges were quibbling over whether the Justice Department and the SEC conducted a “joint” investigation into their alleged crimes.  Apparently that question matters because the defendants…

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herbalife

Herbalife, that multi-level marketing business selling dietary supplements that absolutely totally isn’t a pyramid scheme, has agreed to settle FCPA charges by paying $123 million in disgorgement and penalties and accepting a deferred-prosecution agreement for three years.  Federal prosecutors announced the settlement Friday. It includes a $55 million criminal penalty going to the Justice Department,…

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fcpa

The Justice Department has published its first FCPA Opinion Release in six years, saying a U.S. investment adviser does not need to worry about paying a $237,500 fee to the banking subsidiary of a foreign government for services rendered. FCPA Opinion Releases are short Justice Department analyses of specific fact patterns that might leave a…

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fcpa

Some days the WTF-o-meter just doesn’t go high enough, and such is the case with the latest FCPA enforcement action from the Securities and Exchange Commission. Fellow compliance travelers, prepare yourselves.  The SEC dinged World Acceptance Corp., a consumer loan business based in South Carolina, for a bribery operation the company’s Mexico subsidiary ran in…

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ComEd

Commonwealth Edison, a subsidiary of energy giant Exelon Corp. and the largest utility in the state of Illinois, agreed Friday to pay $200 million to settle federal corruption charges that also involve one of the state’s most powerful politicians. The case is a reminder to compliance officers that FCPA-like misconduct can happen right here within…

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fcpa

Swiss pharmaceutical giant Novartis is paying $345 million to settle civil and criminal FCPA charges for misconduct in Greece, Korea, and Vietnam. As usual, compliance professionals have an abundance of lessons to learn about internal controls, policies and procedures, and effective compliance programs.  The breakdown is $233 million to the Justice Department for the criminal…

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goldman

Here’s a surprise twist to that Goldman Sachs FCPA case from last week: even as the bank’s compliance team was investigating a bribery scheme one of its dealmakers is accused of arranging for a Turkish energy firm, Goldman had a minority ownership stake in that same Turkish company. Goldman Sachs itself is not accused of…

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ENI

You all may have been at a Zoom virtual happy hour on Friday afternoon, but not the folks at the SEC Division of Enforcement! They quietly settled an FCPA case with Italian energy firm ENI that nicked the company for $24.5 million. In some ways the case is ho-hum. In the late 2000s an ENI…

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fcpa

Chalk up another victory for effective compliance programs: Goldman Sachs just avoided FCPA charges from the Securities and Exchange Commission because its compliance team uncovered a sketchy deal one of its bankers cooked up in Ghana — while the banker himself is now facing charges from the SEC.  The defendant in question is Asante Berko,…

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anti-corruption

At long last, we have some non-Covid news for the ethics and compliance world. TRACE International just published its report of global anti-corruption enforcement in 2019, showing a “relatively slow year for enforcement” but nothing far outside the normal, slow-rolling patterns of government investigations. As usual, the majority of anti-corruption enforcement actions conducted last year…

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