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Bio-Rad Pays Big for International Bribery Scheme

Posted  11/6/14
By Marlene Koury Medical diagnostics and life sciences manufacturing and sales company Bio-Rad Laboratories, Inc. has agreed to pay $55 million to settle related SEC and DOJ charges that it violated the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act ("FCPA"). In the SEC matter, California-based Bio-Rad agreed to pay $40.7 million in disgorgement and prejudgment interest to resolve allegations that the company made improper payments...

UK Continues to Say No to US-Styled Whistleblower Rewards

Posted  07/31/14
By Gordon Schnell It was only two months ago that the United Kingdom first made official its absolute rejection of US-styled whistleblower rewards. It came out of the response by the Department for Business Innovation & Skills to the “Call for Evidence” it put out last year soliciting comments on how to improve the country’s burgeoning whistleblower system. See UK Rejects Whistleblower Rewards. One of the key...

UK Rejects Whistleblower Rewards; At Least For Now

Posted  06/26/14
By Gordon Schnell The good news is the United Kingdom has spoken loud and clear on the critical role whistleblowers must play in rooting out fraud and misconduct in the workplace.  The bad news is it continues to believe whistleblower rewards is a bad idea.  This comes out of the response released yesterday by the UK Department for Business Innovation & Skills to the "Call for Evidence" it put out last year...

24 Steps Forward and 1 Giant Step Back on the Path to UK Whistleblower Reform

Posted  12/12/13
By Gordon Schnell Major kudos to Public Concern at Work (PCW), the highly regarded UK whistleblower charity, for its recent report on how best to advance whistleblowing in the Commonwealth.  It contains 25 recommendations to encourage more people to say something when they see something wrong in their workplace, and protect them from retaliation for doing so.  If adopted, the recommendations could go a long way...

Message to the UK – Whistleblower Incentives Work

Posted  11/7/13
By Gordon Schnell and Jason Enzler So it seems the United Kingdom is finally moving in the direction of serious whistleblower reform.  And it is looking to the U.S. experience for guidance.  In particular, it is considering whether the hefty financial incentives provided to whistleblowers under the False Claims Act (FCA) and Dodd-Frank Act are a good idea.  In a Call for Evidence put out by the U.K....

JP Morgan Testing the Boundaries of FCPA Foreign Bribery Rules

Posted  09/12/13
By Gordon Schnell It is a practice that apparently has been going on for years by Wall Street's biggest banks.  Hire the children of high-up Chinese officials and use them to secure big deals in China's ever-expanding economy.  There is nothing inherently wrong with hiring well-connected people.  After all, relationships are what matter most in the business world.  The problem is that when it comes to doing...

Fifth Circuit Eliminates Key Whistleblower Retaliation Protections Under Dodd-Frank – A Pyrrhic Victory for Corporations

Posted  08/29/13
By Gordon Schnell In a legal ruling that many corporations are surely celebrating, the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals has significantly narrowed the scope of who qualifies as a whistleblower under the Dodd-Frank Act.  It is only those individuals who actually provide information to the government (through the SEC or CFTC).  If a whistleblower only reports internally, to a supervisor or through the company's...

Some Greater Clarity on the FCPA's Reach Over Foreign Nationals

Posted  04/3/13
By Gordon Schnell and Jean Kim (Published by Thomson Reuters) Despite the government's ever-expanding crusade against foreign bribery, there has been little in the way of judicial guidance as to how far the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act allows the government to go.  Most cases settle at the gate as only the most brazen (or reckless) defendants want to take on the government in its drive to root out foreign...

Everything You Want to Know About the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act and More

Posted  11/16/12
By Jason Enzler In a move that should help both businesses and those seeking to combat fraud, the SEC and DOJ jointly released a 120-page guide on the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA) on Wednesday.  The guide does not represent any changes to the law or new trends in its enforcement, but it does gather in one place an easy-to-read discussion of the law and its prohibitions, answers to hypothetical scenarios,...

To Report or Not Report; Conflicting Guidance From the Courts -- What is a Whistleblower to Do?

Posted  09/10/12
By Gordon Schnell and Marlene Koury (published in the American Banker) Under the recently implemented whistleblower provisions of the Dodd-Frank Act, whistleblowers who report violations of the securities laws are supposed to be protected from being fired.  These protections -- which can include reinstatement, double back pay and special damages -- are designed to serve as an incentive for whistleblowers to come...
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