Archive for the ‘Multimedia’ Category

FCPA “Summer School” – A Free Two-Part Webinar Series

Thursday, September 3rd, 2015

Learn3Don’t let the dog days of summer make you lazy.

Elevate your Foreign Corrupt Practices Act knowledge and practical skills.

Recently, I conducted a two-part FCPA “summer school” series sponsored by Hiperos (a leading third-party management company).

Hundreds participated in the live webinars in July and August, but if you missed out, the webinars can be accessed at the below links.

The first webinar titled “Understanding FCPA Scrutiny and the Enforcement Landscape” provide participants with an understanding of:

  • current FCPA enforcement theories;
  • the long term and short term costs associated with an FCPA enforcement action or merely FCPA scrutiny; and
  • how the FCPA is enforced by the Department of Justice and the Securities and Exchange Commission.

The second webinar titled “FCPA Third Party Compliance Best Practices” provides participants with an understanding of:

  • the FCPA risks of utilizing third parties
  • FCPA compliance best practices relevant to third parties (including pre-engagement, engagement, and post-engagement practices) and learning from third-party compliance failures in past enforcement actions; and
  • how best to effectively communicate compliance expectations to third parties

Friday Roundup

Friday, July 17th, 2015

Roundup2A reading stack edition of the Friday roundup.


Miller & Chevalier’s FCPA Summer Review 2015 is here.

Regarding the DOJ’s latest FCPA trial court debacle in the Sigelman case (see hereherehere and here for prior posts), the review states:

“The DOJ’s prosecution and trial of Joseph Sigelman deserves special notice, as it was the DOJ’s first trial of an individual on FCPA charges since the acquittal in January 2012 of John Joseph O’Shea. Sigelman’s trial … lasted nine days and ended with prosecutors entering into a negotiated guilty plea with Sigelman on only one of the six counts with which he was charged after a key government witness admitted to lying on the stand. Sigelman’s sentence of probation with no imprisonment was essentially a victory for Sigelman, and the judge was particularly critical of the government’s key witness as well as its sentencing recommendation. The trial adds to a string of recent FCPA prosecutions involving individuals in which the government has failed to secure a conviction or its recommended sentence, highlighting the difficulties the DOJ has sometimes encountered when forced to bear its burden of proof in court.”


Relevant to the double standard issues frequently highlighted on these pages, one interesting side note to come out of the Sigelman trial was testimony about the alleged “commonplace” practice among certain law firms of providing expensive tickets to high-profile sporting events to corporate clients.   (See here from Bloomberg).

Do that with certain other clients or potential clients and the DOJ/SEC would be apt to call that bribery.


My Southern Illinois University School of Law colleague Lucian Dervan co-authored an article with Ellen Podgor (White Collar Crime Prof Blog) titled “White Collar Crime: Still Hazy After All These Years.” The abstract states:

“With a seventy-five year history of sociological and later legal roots, the term “white collar crime” remains an ambiguous concept that academics, policy makers, law enforcement personnel and defense counsel are unable to adequately define. Yet the use of the term “white collar crime” skews statistical reporting and sentencing for this conduct. This Article provides a historical overview of its linear progression and then a methodology for a new architecture in examining this conduct. It separates statutes into clear-cut white collar offenses and hybrid statutory offenses, and then applies this approach with an empirical study that dissects cases prosecuted under hybrid white collar statutes of perjury, false statements, obstruction of justice, and RICO. The empirical analysis suggests the need for an individualized multivariate approach to categorizing white collar crime to guard against broad federal statutes providing either under-inclusive or over-inclusive examination of this form of criminality.”


Bruce Carton (Securities Docket) recently hosted this webinar titled “The U.K. Bribery Act After Five Years – Where Are We Now?” Panelists were Barry Vitou (author of and Anne-Marie Ottaway of the law firm Pinsent Masons; Vivian Robinson QC, former general counsel to the UK’s Serious Fraud Office and now a partner at McGuireWoods; and Julian Glass of FTI Consulting.


A good weekend to all.



Friday Roundup

Friday, May 15th, 2015

Roundup2Like it, quotable, and scrutiny alerts and updates.  It’s all here in the Friday roundup.

Like It

If you get your FCPA from FCPA Professor, you can now like FCPA Professor on Facebook.  Click here.

You can also follow FCPA Professor on Twitter.  Click here.


What did Paul Pellitier (a former Principal Deputy Chief of the Criminal Division’s Fraud Section) think about Assistant Attorney General Leslie Caldwell’s recent “we do not expect companies to aimlessly boil the ocean” speech (see here for the prior post). Pellitier wrote in a guest post on the FCPA Blog:

“Somewhat surprisingly, however, AAG Caldwell seemed to place the blame for the arduousness of government FCPA investigations squarely on companies for “spend[ing] years, and many millions of dollars, investigating potential violations.”

Although AAG Caldwell’s candid remarks provide enough reason to be hopeful, they don’t address critical distinctions between corporate internal investigations and the government’s own overarching criminal investigations that may serve to cause investigatory delays.

As an initial observation, it remains an unavoidable fact that companies simply are not incentivized to incur substantial costs by acting needlessly in the conduct of those internal inquiries. Moreover, while it may be true that, on occasion, a company has “boiled the ocean” in the conduct of an internal investigation, the notion that federal investigators would routinely permit an “aimless” internal inquiry to negatively affect the course or duration of the government’s investigation is, at base, unconvincing.

There is no doubt, however, that, regardless of the level of corporate cooperation, government investigators and prosecutors are not merely museum docents here. As AAG Caldwell pointed out, the government does not (and cannot) sit idly by and rely exclusively on the company’s internal investigation in making its charging decisions, but rather, conducts its own independent inquiry and “pressure tests” the company’s internal investigation. As such, the government plainly is the driver of the investigatory bus.”

As to Pellitier’s comments, it is of course true that “companies simply are not incentivized to incur substantial costs by acting needlessly in the conduct of those internal inquiries.”

Yet it may be true that: (i) FCPA Inc. may be so incentivized; (ii) FCPA Inc. participants are often the go-between between the DOJ/SEC and a company’s board of directors / audit committee; and (iii) few board of directors / audit committees are going to reject FCPA Inc. advice when the issue is a high-profile, sensitive, potentially criminal FCPA matter.

Scrutiny Alerts and Updates

Here is what Brian Robinson (CFO, General Cable Corporation) said on a recent earnings conference call about the company’s FCPA scrutiny.

“I wanted to provide an update regarding the ongoing FCPA-related investigation. The general scope of our internal investigation remains broadly consistent with our past disclosures and we continue to believe, subject to any new developments, that our internal investigation will be concluded or substantially concluded later in this calendar year. As we’ve stated before, once we complete our internal review, we cannot predict how long it will take the SEC or DOJ to conclude their work or what the ultimate outcome may be, including the amount of any fines or penalties we may pay.

We also cannot guarantee that the scope of this ongoing investigation will not change or expand in the future as it unfolds. As we’ve said before, any determination that our operations or activities are not in compliance with existing laws or regulations could result in the imposition of substantial fines, civil and criminal penalties, and equitable remedies including disgorgement and injunctive relief.

In February of this year, based on the analysis completed at that time, with the assistance of our external counsel and forensic accountants, we concluded that we are able to reasonably estimate the amount of profit derived from sales made to the Angolan government owned public utilities that we believe are likely to ultimately be disgorged in connection with our ongoing investigation. As a result, we recorded an estimated charge in the amount of $24 million as an accrual as of December 31, 2014. The accrued amount reflects only an estimate of the Angola related profits reasonably likely to be disgorged and does not include provision for any fines, civil or criminal penalties, or other relief. There has been no change in the amount of accrual since it was put in place in February.”


Bank of New York Mellon Corp. recently disclosed:

“In January 2011, the Enforcement Division of the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (the “SEC Staff”) informed several financial institutions, including BNY Mellon, that it had commenced an inquiry into certain of their business practices and relationships with sovereign wealth fund clients. In the third quarter of 2014, the SEC Staff issued Wells notices to certain current and former employees of BNY Mellon, informing them that the SEC Staff has made a preliminary determination to recommend enforcement action against them for alleged violations of the U.S. Foreign Corrupt Practices Act in connection with the provision of a limited number of internships to relatives of sovereign wealth fund officials. BNY Mellon received a similar Wells notice in the fourth quarter of 2014. On Jan. 23, 2015, BNY Mellon received an additional subpoena from the SEC expanding the scope of the SEC’s inquiry into the provision of internships and employment opportunities offered to officials and relatives of officials at government-related entities. BNY Mellon has fully cooperated with the SEC Staff’s investigation.”

Speaking of the above disclosure, this World Finance video (7 minutes in length) asks “is bribery part of life on Wall Street?” (Note- challenging enforcement agency interpretations of facts or law (as recently highlighted here) is not lobbying as suggested in the video).


A good weekend to all.

For Your FCPA Listening Enjoyment

Friday, March 13th, 2015

ListeningTired of reading about the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act?

Well sometimes I get tired writing about the FCPA.

Thus, today’s post is short on written content, but otherwise long on content as it contains links to several multi-media sources for your FCPA listening enjoyment.

An FCPA Fireside Chat of Sorts

David Yosifon is a law professor at Santa Clara University School of Law. Professor Yosifon also runs The Corporate Social Responsibility Podcast and I had the pleasure to recently visit with him in this February 25th recording available on iTunes.

During the approximate one hour conversation, we talk about the original goals of the FCPA, current approaches to enforcement, and areas of potential FCPA reform.

A Focus on DPAs

Recently, I had the pleasure to again visit with Thomas Fox for his Foreign Corrupt Practices Act Compliance and Ethics Report.

In this episode, we discuss recent writings and rulings concerning the DOJ’s use of deferred prosecution agreements.

Former FCPA Unit Chief Duross 

The Global Anticorruption Blog highlights a recent conference “Combating Grand Corruption: Is International Law the Answer” including comments by former FCPA Unit Chief Chuck Duross who speaks generally of his time at the DOJ.

A Look Back At 2014

Monday, February 23rd, 2015

Today’s post is short on written words, but long on content.

Recently, I had the pleasure to again visit with Thomas Fox for his Foreign Corrupt Practices Act Compliance and Ethics Report.

In this episode I discuss:

  • 2014 FCPA enforcement statistics;
  • The variety of actions brought by the DOJ and SEC in 2014;
  • 2014 enforcement actions that should cause concern;
  • The top FCPA story from 2014;
  • 2014 FCPA opinion procedure releases;
  • Enforcement agency policy speeches from 2014; and
  • How a compliance defense can assist the enforcement agencies in accomplishing their objectives (see here for the prior post).