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DOJ Catch of the Week -- Alstom S.A.

Posted  12/24/14
[caption id="" align="alignright" width="218"] Photo Credit: Alstom[/caption] By the C|C Whistleblower Lawyer Team This week's Department of Justice "catch of the week" goes to French power and transportation company Alstom S.A. On Monday, the company pleaded guilty to violating the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA) and agreed to pay a whopping $772 million to resolve charges of a widespread international...

DOJ Catch of the Week -- Avon Products

Posted  12/19/14
[caption id="attachment_10540" align="alignright" width="300"] Photo Credit: Avon[/caption] By the C|C Whistleblower Lawyer Team This week's Department of Justice "catch of the week" goes to New York-based cosmetics company Avon Products. On Wednesday, its wholly owned subsidiary Avon Products (China) Co. Ltd. pleaded guilty to violating the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA) by making and concealing illicit...

DOJ Declares Record Year for Fraud Recoveries with a Notable Nod to Whistleblowers

Posted  11/20/14
By the C|C Whistleblower Lawyer Team Yesterday, outgoing Attorney General Eric Holder -- perhaps in one of his final swan songs as the country's top fraud cop -- trumpeted the $24.7 billion in civil and criminal fines the Department of Justice brought home this fiscal year (ending Sept. 30, 2014).  See DOJ Press Release.  It is more than three times the $8 billion DOJ recovered in 2013.  It also represents close...

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...

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...

SEC Continues its Crusade Against Foreign Bribery

Posted  08/10/12
By Gordon Schnell The reinvigorated efforts of the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) to fight foreign bribery continue to pay off.  This week, the SEC announced that the drug giant, Pfizer, has agreed to pay $60 million to settle criminal and civil charges that its subsidiaries bribed foreign officials in Europe and Asia in order to win business there.  Under the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA), it...
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