2017 marked the first year of Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA) enforcement under the Trump administration. In the following post, we look back at significant FCPA-related announcements, trends and enforcement actions from the Department of Justice (DOJ) and the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). Showing the importance of an effective FCPA compliance program in 2017 and in the Trump era.
1) 19 individuals have pleaded guilty or been convicted in FCPA-related cases in 2017. Source
2) January was a busy month for FCPA enforcement actions from the SEC. The SEC charged two former Och-Ziff executives, Michael L. Cohen and Vanja Baros and settled cases with Orthofix International; SQM; Biomet and Cadbury Limited/Mondelez International. Source
3) The DOJ’s FCPA Pilot Program was extended. Acting Assistant Attorney General Kenneth A. Blanco announced at the American Bar Association’s National Institute on White Collar Crime that the DOJ’s Fraud Section’s guidance for FCPA investigations and prosecutions, commonly called 'the pilot program', would remain in place. Source
4) In the first major corruption case brought under the Trump era, a telecommunications company agreed to pay a $965 million settlement. The Swedish-based company Telia Company AB consented to pay $457 million in disgorgement to the SEC and a criminal fine of more than $508 million to the Department of Justice for FCPA-related charges. Source
5) Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein announced the revised FCPA Corporate Enforcement Policy to be incorporated into the United States Attorneys’ Manual at the 34th International Conference on the FCPA on November 29th. Source
6) Under the newly announced FCPA enforcement policy, subject to certain 'aggravating circumstances,' a company will receive no penalty at all in instances where it self-reports misconduct in an FCPA matter. Source
7) More than $1.6 billion is the amount in penalties and forfeiture to the DOJ from the the 17 FCPA- related corporate cases resolved since 2016. Source
This year’s major FCPA events and the newly announced corporate enforcement policy demonstrate that corporations should take all steps to protect themselves from potential FCPA violations.
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Check out our webinar with MCG Consulting, "Best Practices to Achieve an Effective FCPA Program."
Read a special guest blog post by Robin Singh, a certified compliance professional and fraud examiner on the Top 10 Essentials of a Highly Effective Anti-Corruption Framework.