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FCPA

This archive displays posts tagged as relevant to the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act or FCPA. You may also be interested in the following pages:

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Top FCPA Recoveries of 2021

Posted  01/14/22
desk globe
We wish we could provide a list of the Top Ten FCPA recoveries of 2021.  But, in 2021, there were just four FCPA settlements announced by government enforcement agencies.  Following back-to-back years with billions of dollars in recoveries under the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act in 2020 and 2019 momentum has, unfortunately, stalled. The FCPA prohibits the payment of bribes to foreign officials made with the...

October 19, 2021

Credit Suisse Group AG, together with related subsidiaries, and VTB Capital plc will collectively pay more than $481 million to resolve charges related to the financing of hundreds of millions in loans to the government of Mozambique and an entity owned by that government, Empresa Moçambicana de Atum S.A. (EMATUM), which was formed to develop a tuna fishing project.  Credit Suisse, which pleaded guilty to defrauding investors and entered into a settlement agreement with the SEC, will pay nearly $475 million to U.S. and international authorities, as well as restitution to individual investors.  As part of its guilty plea, Credit Suisse admitted that it made material misrepresentations and omissions in statement to investors including about the planned use of loan proceeds; about $50 million in kickback payments to a Credit Suisse subsidiary and $150 million in bribes to government officials; about the existence and maturity dates of other loans to the government of Mozambique; about other red flags prior to and during the EMATUM financing; and about the risk of default.  In addition, the SEC charged that Credit Suisse violated the internal accounting controls and books and records provisions of the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act. Credit Suisse's payment consists of a $99 million payment to the SEC ($65 million as a penalty and $34 million in disgorgement and interest), a $247.52 million criminal monetary penalty to the U.S., with $175.6 million to be paid and the remaining to $47.2 million to be credited to related settlements, and $200.7 million to the United Kingdom's Financial Conduct Authority.  In addition, Credit Suisse agreed to provide $200 million as debt relief to Mozambique. VTB will pay $6.4 million to resolve SEC charges that it mislead investors in a related bond offering structured by VTB Capital and Credit Suisse, which the SEC found failed to disclose the true nature of Mozambique's debt and the high risk of default on the bonds.  SEC; DOJ

September 24, 2021

London-based advertising company WPP plc, which has ADRs registered in the US, will pay $19 million in disgorgement, interest, and penalties to resolve allegations that it violated the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act.  The SEC charged that WPP acquired advertising agencies in high-risk markets and failed to insure that these subsidiaries implemented appropriate internal controls or respond to repeated warning signs and internal complaints about activities including payments to government officials in India, China, Brazil, and Peru.  SEC

June 25, 2021

UK-based global engineering company Amec Foster Wheeler Energy Limited, a subsidiary of John Wood Group plc, has agreed to pay more than $40.7 million in criminal fines, disgorgement, and interest, and enter into a three-year deferred prosecution agreement to settle foreign bribery charges involving a $190 million contract from state-owned Petróleo Brasileiro S.A. (Petrobras) to design a gas-to-chemicals complex in Brazil.  Through employees located in New York and Texas, Amec Foster Wheeler allegedly conspired with others to pay bribes to win the contract, earning at least $12.9 million in profit as a result. The company also reached settlements with the United Kingdom’s Serious Fraud Office and Brazilian authorities, and will receive credits for payments made to those entities. USAO EDNY; DOJ; SEC

Top Ten FCPA Recoveries of 2020

Posted  01/27/21
globe
2020 was a blockbuster year in the U.S. government’s battle against companies and individuals enmeshed in foreign bribery schemes.  The list of 2020's largest settlements involving charges under the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA) includes many substantial recoveries. In 2020 the government recovered billions of dollars in settlement of claims under the FCPA, building on substantial recoveries just last...

January 8, 2021

Deutsche Bank Aktiengesellschaft entered into a deferred prosecution agreement and agreed to pay over $130 million to resolve charges that the financial services company violated the FCPA and engaged in a commodities fraud scheme.  The SEC charged that Deutsche Bank made payments to individuals including foreign officials, their relatives, and their associates as third-party intermediaries and consultants to obtain and retain global business, and lacked sufficient internal accounting controls related to the use and payment of such intermediaries, resulting in millions in bribe payments or payments for unknown, undocumented, or unauthorized services that were inaccurately recorded as legitimate business expenses with documentation falsified by Deutsche Bank employees. The agreed payment represents a $79.6 million criminal penalty and $43.3 million in disgorgement in prejudgment interest to the SEC.   Separately, in connection with a spoofing scheme undertaken by Deutsche precious metals traders in New York, Singapore, and London the bank agreed to a total of $7.5 million in criminal penalties, disgorgement, and restitution, the penalty amount of which will be credited against a 2018 $30 million CFTC civil penalty for substantially the same conduct.   SEC; DOJ

Top Ten Healthcare Fraud Recoveries of 2020

Posted  01/5/21
Healthcare Fraud
Consistent with the trend in prior years, the bulk of the Justice Department’s fraud and false claims recoveries in 2019 stemmed from healthcare fraud matters, and with the Biden administration eyeing a bigger role for the federal government in our healthcare system, this trend is likely to accelerate. Most of the funds recovered arose from cases originated by whistleblowers under the qui tam provisions of the False...

Catch of the Week: Vitol to Pay $163 Million to Settle Criminal and Civil Charges Related to Oil Bidding in Brazil, Mexico, and Ecuador

Posted  12/11/20
Screenshot of CFTC Whistleblower Program web page
This week’s Catch of the Week highlights the participation of the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) in the settlement of an international bribery and kickback scandal involving Vitol Inc., a member of the Vitol Group, the world’s largest privately owned oil and gas trading firm.  As part of the settlement, Vitol will pay $90 million in fines to the DOJ, $45 million to Brazilian authorities, and at least...

December 3, 2020

The U.S. affiliate of one of the world’s largest energy trading firms has agreed to resolve investigations by U.S. and Brazilian authorities into alleged violations of the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act by paying a combined $135 million, as well as an additional $16 million in penalty and $12.7 million in disgorgement to the CFTC.  From 2005 to 2020, Vitol Inc. allegedly paid millions of dollars in bribes to government officials in Brazil, Ecuador, and Mexico in order to obtain competitive advantages.  Many of the bribes were paid to officials at Brazil’s state-owned and state-controlled oil company, Petróleo Brasileiro S.A., through a series of intermediaries, fictitious companies, fictitious email accounts, and code names.  This is the first action involving foreign corruption that was brought by the CFTC.  CFTC; DOJ; USAO EDNY

In an Effort to Curb Corruption, U.S. and Brazil Update Trade Agreement by Strengthening Whistleblower Protections

U.S. and Brazil flags flying together
On October 19, 2020, the U.S. and Brazil signed a Protocol on trade rules and transparency, updating their 2011 Agreement on Trade and Economic Cooperation (ATEC). The Protocol includes three annexes – one of which comprises cutting-edge provisions that are at the very forefront of recent developments in the area of whistleblower protection. Article 3 of Annex III provides specific obligations in line with both...
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