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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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October 14, 2020

Brazilian investment company J&F Investimentos S.A. and is meat producer subsidiary, JBS S.A., along with their principles Joesley Batista and Wesley Batista have entered into a settlement agreement with the SEC and DOJ, agreeing to pay nearly $283 million in fines and disgorgement and plead guilty to resolve charges under the FCPA arising from a scheme to bribe government officials in Brazil in order to obtain financing and other benefits for the companies.  Defendants paid approximately $180 million in bribes to obtain hundreds of millions of dollars in financing from Brazilian state-owned and state-controlled banks BNDES and Caixa, as well as to facilitate JBS’s acquisition of U.S. company Pilgrim’s Pride Corporation.  The bribes were allegedly paid from U.S. assets, including JBS operating accounts that also contained Pilgrim’s funds.  The SEC further charged that the Batistas, who exerted significant control over Pilgrim’s, caused it have an inadequate system of internal controls and accurate books and records.  The criminal fine of $256 million will be discounted up to 50% to credit defendants for a settlement with Brazilian authorities valued at $1.9 billion; the SEC agreement provides for a payment of $27 million in disgorgement and interest. Defendants also agreed to cooperate any ongoing or further investigations and implement an enhanced compliance program. DOJ; SEC; USAO EDNY

September 22, 2020

Florida-based asphalt company Sargeant Marine, Inc., will plead guilty and pay $16.6 million to resolve claims that it violated the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act.  Between 2010 and 2018 the company paid millions of dollars in bribes to foreign officials in Brazil, Venezuela, and Ecuador, in order to secure contracts with state-owned oil companies.  To execute the scheme and conceal the bribe payments, Sargeant Marine entered into fake consulting agreements with bribe intermediaries.  DOJ; USAO ED NY

SEC Again Postpones Hearing on Controversial Whistleblower Award Rule Amendments

Posted  09/11/20
silver whistle with Securities Exchange Commission logo
For the second time, the SEC pulled the plug on hearings to consider amendments to some key rules affecting its whistleblower reward program.  Just a day before hearings scheduled for September 2, 2020, the SEC canceled them, indicating only that they would be rescheduled for a future date.  The Commission had done the same thing in fall 2019, abandoning hearings at the last minute. There are many potential...

August 28, 2020

Herbalife Nutrition Ltd. will pay over $123 million to resolve claims that the US-based company violated the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act by paying bribes to Chinese officials and other state-owned entities in order to secure required direct selling licenses, improperly influence Chinese investigations into Herbalife's business, and improperly influence Chinese state-owned and state-controlled media for the purpose of removing negative media reports about Herbalife. Herbalife admitted that over the course of ten years it falsified its books and records in order to provide corrupt payments and benefits to Chinese government officials.  To resolve criminal charges, Herbalife will enter into a deferred prosecution agreement and pay a $55 million criminal penalty; to resolve civil charges by the SEC, Herbalife will pay disgorgement and interest totaling approximately $67 million.  DOJ; USAO SDNY; SEC

The FCPA’s Accounting Provisions Get a Fresh Look from the SEC

silver whistle with Securities Exchange Commission logo
In the New York Law Journal this week, we published an article discussing a heartening trend in the SEC’s enforcement of the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act, a law that has yielded some of the largest SEC fines and recoveries: an increased willingness to ground enforcement actions in the accounting provisions of the FCPA. The FCPA broadly prohibits two different kinds of conduct.  First, businesses may not bribe...

August 6, 2020

South Carolina-based consumer loan company World Acceptance Corporation has been ordered to pay $21 million to resolve allegations of violating the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA).  According to the SEC, the company’s former Mexican subsidiary, WAC de Mexico S.A. de C.V., paid more than $4 million in bribes to Mexican officials from 2010 to 2017 in order to secure the ability to make loans to government employees, then recorded the payments as legitimate business expenses.  SEC

CFTC Whistleblower Hot Streak Continues with $9 Million Award

Posted  07/28/20
a silver whistle on top of a stack of cash
This week, the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) announced a new whistleblower award of approximately $9 million, one of the five largest awards ever paid by the agency. It is the latest in a wave of awards—four over the last three months, all over $1 million—demonstrating the CFTC’s strong commitment to its whistleblowers. These awards make good on CFTC Enforcement Director James McDonald’s...

July 2, 2020

Alexion Pharmaceuticals, Inc. will pay $21 million to resolve SEC charges that it violated the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act.  Alexion subsidiaries in Turkey and Russia were alleged to have made payments to foreign officials in those countries in order to secure favorable regulatory treatment for Alexion’s drug Soliris, and to increase the number of prescriptions for the drug.  The Turkish and Russian subsidiaries, as well as Alexion subsidiaries in Brazil and Colombia, falsified their books and records with respect to improper payments, and Alexion’s internal accounting controls were not adequate to detect or prevent the improper payments and accounting.  SEC

Catch of the Week: Novartis Pays $729 Million to Settle Two Kickback Cases on Heels of $345 Million Foreign Bribery Settlement

Posted  07/2/20
Novartis corporate building
This week and last, pharmaceutical manufacturer Novartis reached three settlements involving very different forms of unlawful kickbacks and bribes.  First, this week the company agreed to pay a total of $678 million to resolve a New York case alleging that it paid inflated “speaking fees” and provided other incentives to doctors to induce them to prescribe Novartis drugs.  Second, Novartis will pay $51.25...

June 25, 2020

Novartis AG, a Switzerland-based pharmaceutical company, along with its Greek subsidiary, Novartis Hellas S.A.C.I. (Novartis Greece), have agreed to pay $233 million to the DOJ and $112 to the SEC, for a combined penalty of $345 million, in order to resolve charges of violating the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act.  A former subsidiary, Alcon Pte Ltd—now a subsidiary of multinational eyecare company, Alcon Ltd—has agreed to pay $8.9 million to resolve similar charges.  Between 2012 and 2016, the subsidiaries allegedly bribed employees of state-owned hospitals and clinics in Greece and Vietnam to use Novartis or Alcon-branded products while falsely recording the improper payments.  As part of the settlement, both Novartis Greece and Alcon Pte Ltd will also enter into deferred prosecution agreements with DOJ.  DOJ; USAO NJ; SEC
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