Archive for the ‘Uncategorized’ Category

Thank You For Reading FCPA Professor In 2014

Wednesday, December 31st, 2014

ThankYou5Thank you for making FCPA Professor a part of your day in 2014.  261 posts were published this year.

Launched in 2009, FCPA Professor continues to grow and 2014 set a record in terms of site visits from readers around the world.

I appreciate the trust and confidence you place in me every day by visiting FCPA Professor. Running this website is a responsibility I take very seriously and my pledge to readers is to always provide comprehensive and candid coverage of FCPA and related topics.

A further goal of FCPA Professor has always been to provide a forum for analysis and discussion of the FCPA and related topics by others.  In 2014, dozens of guest posts were published and contributors included practitioners, compliance professionals, and professors from around the world. If you have something unique to say about an FCPA or related topic, please consider making your voice heard on FCPA Professor in 2015.

Again, thank you for reading FCPA Professor in 2014.  If you got your FCPA from FCPA Professor in 2014, you can help support this free website here.

I look forward to your readership and participation in 2015.

A December To Remember

Tuesday, December 23rd, 2014

Dec. 2014Eight days remain in December, but already it’s been a December to remember from a Foreign Corrupt Practices Act enforcement perspective.

Thus far this month, there have been four corporate enforcement actions resulting in $923 million in settlement amounts.

The stocking stuffer of course was yesterday’s announcement by the DOJ of a $772 million FCPA enforcement action against Alstom and related entities.

While the Alstom enforcement action is the largest DOJ FCPA enforcement action of all-time, it is the second largest overall FCPA enforcement action of all-time behind the 2008 Siemens enforcement action ($450 million DOJ component and a $350 million SEC component).  To see the current FCPA top-ten settlement list, click here.

The Alstom resolution documents total approximately 400 pages.  A future post will comprehensively summarize these documents.

In short, and as highlighted in the DOJ’s release:

Alstom pleaded guilty to a two-count criminal information filed today in the U.S. District Court for the District of Connecticut, charging the company with violating the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA) by falsifying its books and records and failing to implement adequate internal controls.  Alstom admitted its criminal conduct and agreed to pay a criminal penalty of $772,290,000.  U.S. District Judge Janet B. Arterton of the District of Connecticut scheduled a sentencing hearing for June 23, 2015.

In addition, Alstom Network Schweiz AG, formerly Alstom Prom (Alstom Prom), Alstom’s Swiss subsidiary, pleaded guilty to a criminal information charging the company with conspiracy to violate the anti-bribery provisions of the FCPA.  Alstom Power Inc. (Alstom Power) and Alstom Grid Inc. (Alstom Grid), two U.S. subsidiaries, both entered into deferred prosecution agreements, admitting that they conspired to violate the anti-bribery provisions of the FCPA.  Alstom Power is headquartered in Windsor, Connecticut, and Alstom Grid, formerly Alstom T&D, was headquartered in New Jersey.

According to the companies’ admissions, Alstom, Alstom Prom, Alstom Power and Alstom Grid, through various executives and employees, paid bribes to government officials and falsified books and records in connection with power, grid and transportation projects for state-owned entities around the world, including in Indonesia, Egypt, Saudi Arabia, the Bahamas and Taiwan.  In Indonesia, for example, Alstom, Alstom Prom, and Alstom Power paid bribes to government officials – including a high-ranking member of the Indonesian Parliament and high-ranking members of Perusahaan Listrik Negara, the state-owned electricity company in Indonesia – in exchange for assistance in securing several contracts to provide power-related services valued at approximately $375 million.  In total, Alstom paid more than $75 million to secure $4 billion in projects around the world, with a profit to the company of approximately $300 million.

Alstom and its subsidiaries also attempted to conceal the bribery scheme by retaining consultants purportedly to provide consulting services on behalf of the companies, but who actually served as conduits for corrupt payments to the government officials.  [...]

The plea agreement cites many factors considered by the department in reaching the appropriate resolution, including:  Alstom’s failure to voluntarily disclose the misconduct even though it was aware of related misconduct at a U.S. subsidiary that previously resolved corruption charges with the department in connection with a power project in Italy; Alstom’s refusal to fully cooperate with the department’s investigation for several years; the breadth of the companies’ misconduct, which spanned many years, occurred in countries around the globe and in several business lines, and involved sophisticated schemes to bribe high-level government officials; Alstom’s lack of an effective compliance and ethics program at the time of the conduct; and Alstom’s prior criminal misconduct, including conduct that led to resolutions with various other governments and the World Bank.

After the department publicly charged several Alstom executives, however, Alstom began providing thorough cooperation, including assisting the department’s prosecution of other companies and individuals.”

Stay tuned for a future post that will comprehensively summarize the various prongs of the Alstom enforcement action.

Go Back To “School” This January At The FCPA Institute – Miami

Tuesday, December 16th, 2014

FCPA InstituteLearning a new topic or elevating your knowledge and practical skills in a topic is not just for formal students in formal educational settings. Professionals in the workplace can benefit from back to “school” moments as well.  For professionals in the FCPA space – or wishing to join the FCPA space – the FCPA Institute serves this objective.

Begin 2015 by elevating your Foreign Corrupt Practices Act knowledge and practical skills in Miami, Florida at the FCPA Institute on January 12th-13th.  The FCPA Institute – Miami also provides participants the opportunity to earn CLE credit as well as a value-added professional credential.

The FCPA Institute is different than a typical FCPA conference.  At the FCPA Institute, information is presented in an integrated and cohesive manner by an expert instructor with FCPA practice and teaching experience.

Moreover, the FCPA Institute promotes active learning by participants through issue-spotting video exercises, skills exercises, small-group discussions and the sharing of real-world practices and experiences. To best facilitate the unique learning experience that the FCPA Institute represents, attendance at each FCPA Institute is capped at 30 participants.

In short, the FCPA Institute elevates the FCPA learning experience for a diverse group of professionals and is offered as a refreshing and cost-effective alternative to a typical FCPA conference. The goal of the FCPA Institute is simple: to develop and enhance fundamental skills relevant to the FCPA, FCPA enforcement, and FCPA compliance best practices in a stimulating and professional environment with a focus on learning.

The FCPA Institute presents the FCPA not merely as a legal issue, but also as a business, finance, accounting, and auditing issue. The FCPA Institute is thus ideal for a diverse group of professionals such as in-house and outside counsel; compliance professionals; finance, accounting, and auditing professionals; and others seeking sophisticated knowledge and enhanced skills relevant to the FCPA.

Click here to see what these diverse professionals are saying about the FCPA Institute.

FCPA Institute participants not only gain knowledge, practical skills and peer insight, but will also have their knowledge assessed and can earn a certificate of completion upon passing a written assessment tool. In this way, successful completion of the FCPA Institute represents a value-added credential for professional development.  In addition, attorneys who complete the FCPA Institute are also eligible to receive Continuing Legal Education (“CLE”) credits.  (The FCPA Institute – Miami has been approved for 15 general CLE credits in Florida and 13.5 general CLE credits in Georgia.  Attorneys may be eligible to receive CLE credit through reciprocity or attorney self-submission in other states as well).

Join other firm lawyers, in-house counsel, auditing professionals and others already registered for the FCPA Institute – Miami by clicking here to register.

FCPA Institute – Miami (January 12-13, 2015)

Thursday, November 13th, 2014

FCPA InstituteBegin 2015 by elevating your Foreign Corrupt Practices Act knowledge and practical skills in Miami, Florida at the FCPA Institute on January 12th-13th.  The FCPA Institute – Miami also provides participants the opportunity to earn CLE credit as well as a value-added professional credential.

The FCPA Institute is different than a typical FCPA conference.  At the FCPA Institute, information is presented in an integrated and cohesive manner by an expert instructor with FCPA practice and teaching experience.

Moreover, the FCPA Institute promotes active learning by participants through issue-spotting video exercises, skills exercises, small-group discussions and the sharing of real-world practices and experiences. To best facilitate the unique learning experience that the FCPA Institute represents, attendance at each FCPA Institute is capped at 30 participants.

In short, the FCPA Institute elevates the FCPA learning experience for a diverse group of professionals and is offered as a refreshing and cost-effective alternative to a typical FCPA conference. The goal of the FCPA Institute is simple: to develop and enhance fundamental skills relevant to the FCPA, FCPA enforcement, and FCPA compliance best practices in a stimulating and professional environment with a focus on learning.

The FCPA Institute presents the FCPA not merely as a legal issue, but also as a business, finance, accounting, and auditing issue. The FCPA Institute is thus ideal for a diverse group of professionals such as in-house and outside counsel; compliance professionals; finance, accounting, and auditing professionals; and others seeking sophisticated knowledge and enhanced skills relevant to the FCPA.

Click here to see what these diverse professionals are saying about the FCPA Institute.

FCPA Institute participants not only gain knowledge, practical skills and peer insight, but will also have their knowledge assessed and can earn a certificate of completion upon passing a written assessment tool. In this way, successful completion of the FCPA Institute represents a value-added credential for professional development.  In addition, attorneys who complete the FCPA Institute are also eligible to receive Continuing Legal Education (“CLE”) credits.  (The FCPA Institute – Miami has been approved for 15 general CLE credits in Florida and 13.5 general CLE credits in Georgia.  Attorneys may be eligible to receive CLE credit through reciprocity or attorney self-submission in other states as well).

Join other firm lawyers, in-house counsel, auditing professionals and others already registered for the FCPA Institute – Miami by clicking here to register.

The FCPA And Compliance In The Classroom

Thursday, October 30th, 2014

FCPA in the ClassroomThis recent FCPA Blog post suggested “law schools, as far as we know, haven’t caught on to the great employment prospects for compliance professionals” and that “aside from a few isolated examples, the concept of training students to be compliance officers hasn’t taken root in the law schools’ curricula.”

In the heartland, at Southern Illinois University School of Law, the FCPA and compliance skills are  part of the educational experience.  I have been teaching for two years a specific course I developed regarding the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act, FCPA enforcement and FCPA compliance.  It is one of the only law school courses of its kind in the country.  (See here for media coverage of the class).

The learning objectives for the course include the following:

  • understanding the events and policy reasons that motivated Congress to enact the FCPA and what Congress intended to capture in enacting the FCPA;
  • appreciating the root causes of why companies often become the subject of FCPA scrutiny as well as the typical origins of FCPA enforcement actions;
  • gaining a comprehensive understanding of the FCPA’s anti-bribery provisions and books and records and internal controls provisions, including the ability to identify legal risk through real-world issue-spotting videos;
  • understanding the FCPA’s many ripples such as how actual FCPA enforcement actions brought by the Department of Justice and/or the Securities Exchange Commission are often just one consequence of FCPA scrutiny or enforcement, as well as exploring other negative legal and financial consequences that often result from FCPA scrutiny or enforcement;
  • going beyond the FCPA and understanding other U.S. laws (such as the Travel Act) and certain foreign laws (such as the U.K. Bribery Act) relevant to conducting business in the global marketplace;
  • gaining practical FCPA compliance skills including the ability to conduct an FCPA risk assessment and to develop FCPA compliance policies tailored to unique risk profiles;
  • gaining insight into FCPA Inc. as a niche and vibrant industry full of career opportunities;
  • analyzing various other legal and policy issues associated with the FCPA, FCPA enforcement and FCPA compliance;
  • assessing whether the FCPA and FCPA enforcement policies are best achieving the objectives of the FCPA or whether FCPA reform is warranted.

While the course is about a specific statute, its enforcement, and compliance strategies, learning objectives also include:

  • how business organizations operate in the global marketplace and various realities of the global marketplace; and
  • DOJ and SEC enforcement policies and resolution vehicles relevant to both business organizations and individuals including related resolution dynamics.

During the course, students engage with FCPA practitioners and in-house counsel with FCPA and other compliance responsibilities.

In terms of assessing accomplishment of the learning objectives, students prepare client memos on a specific FCPA enforcement action and the capstone writing assignment for the class is conducting a comprehensive risk assessment of a real company and suggesting pro-active compliance policies and procedures designed to minimize risk.

In short, the FCPA and compliance is being taught in the classroom and I am confident in saying that the students who have taken the above class know more about the FCPA, FCPA enforcement and FCPA compliance than most any other law students in America.

I encourage anyone looking for FCPA and compliance talent to give these students an opportunity to put these skills to use.  If you are interested in connecting with my students for internship or job opportunities, please e-mail me at fcpaprofessor@gmail.com