New FCPA Enforcement Actions Announced on the Heels of the Annual ACI Conference
A day after DOJ and SEC officials rejected the notion that there has a been a precipitous decline in enforcement of the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act, DOJ and SEC announced a $460 million total settlement with three-time offender and Swiss-based technology company ABB Ltd., in the first-ever coordinated FCPA resolution with South Africa. The crux of the scheme involved payments to a South African government official in an effort to win contracts.
On the criminal side, ABB Ltd. entered into a Deferred Prosecution Agreement, while two of its subsidiaries entered guilty pleas. Consistent with recent remarks about international coordination, DOJ “agreed to credit up to half of the criminal penalty against amounts the company pays to authorities in South Africa in related proceedings, along with other credits for amounts ABB pays to resolve investigations conducted by the SEC and authorities in Switzerland and Germany.”
Also on December 2, DOJ filed new FCPA charges in New York against an individual oil trader implicated in schemes to bribe officials at numerous state-owned oil companies in Latin America through a web of bank accounts and shell companies around the world.1
These developments suggest that reports of the FCPA’s demise may be greatly exaggerated. And they illustrate how prosecutions for international corruption are increasingly an international affair, with multiple countries on the case, taking a piece of any settlement pie.
© Arnold & Porter Kaye Scholer LLP 2022 All Rights Reserved. This blog post is intended to be a general summary of the law and does not constitute legal advice. You should consult with counsel to determine applicable legal requirements in a specific fact situation.