Tag Archives: Compliance

The Schrems Decision: How the End of Safe Harbor Affects Your FCPA Compliance Plan

Like a needle to a balloon, the Schrems decision has drastically altered the data privacy landscape. Who is affected? Everyone – consumers, corporations, employees. But who needs to take action? Any company with offices in the European Union and the United States, any European company that outsources work to the United States (do you know … Continue Reading

The Broader Problem: European Bank Creates an Easy Catch for the Long Arm of U.S. Jurisdiction

On March 12, 2015, Commerzbank AG, Germany’s second largest bank and a global financial institution, agreed to pay $1.45 Billion (yes, with a “B”) in forfeitures and fines to the U.S. Government for violating U.S. sanctions against Iran and Sudan. The amount paid by Commerzbank under the settlement will not be shocking to those who … Continue Reading

Paying the Piper: PayPal Inc. Settles Sanctions Violations with OFAC for $7.7 Million

On March 25, 2015, the Department of Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) announced that PayPal Inc. (“PayPal”) agreed to pay $7.7 million to settle 486 violations of U.S. economic sanctions.  According to OFAC, for several years until 2013, PayPal, one of the world’s largest electronic payment companies, did not have adequate compliance processes … Continue Reading

Round Two: Prosecutors Reopen Bank Settlements

With our political system suffering from a growing chasm down party lines, our public servants seem to be increasingly vulnerable to public pressure.  Politicians scramble to fight for whatever cause du jour will garner them the most support.  And lately, no political act is guaranteed to please Main Street quite so much as blaming the … Continue Reading

Who’s a “Foreign Official”? Supreme Court Could Clarify Key FCPA Term

On August 14, 2014, Joel Esquenazi and Carlos Rodriguez filed a Petition for a writ of certiorari in the U.S. Supreme Court seeking clarification of a key term in the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act.  Among other arguments, Esquenazi and Rodriguez (the “Petitioners”) state that the FCPA “leaves open the pivotal question of who qualifies as a … Continue Reading

Shelter from the Coming Storm: Anti-Corruption Compliance in European Public Procurement

A red sky at morning is the traditional harbinger of ill weather. From our vantage point in Brussels, we’ve scanned the horizon for signs of the future of anti-bribery enforcement activity in Europe. We’ve identified four factors that are starting small, but may build into heavy seas. In particular, there are signs that companies that … Continue Reading

What’s Not in the New FCPA Resource Guide, or Why Doing Your FCPA Homework is Still a Good Idea

By: Mark Jensen Notwithstanding our overall approval of the FCPA Resource Guide (the Guide) issued by the Department of Justice (DOJ) and Securities & Exchange Commission (SEC) earlier this month, we are certainly not above a bit of criticism. To that end, those who have investigated and settled FCPA cases after choosing to cooperate with the government will be familiar with the instruction to do “homework” following a meeting.  The direction generally requires a deeper dive into specific facts or issues identified by the DOJ and/or SEC.  While directed by the government, the homework instruction nonetheless allows the investigation target a lot of leeway about how to get the homework done. The same approach infuses the Guide. … Continue Reading

A Man Overboard Will Not Sink the Ship: How Robust FCPA Compliance Can Keep a Company Out of Hot Water Even When An Executive is Neck Deep

By: Reid Whitten The story of one man prosecuted by the SEC and the DOJ for an FCPA violation may run a little below the radar these days, when allegations of bribery by manufacturing, retail, and entertainment companies plaster the headlines.  The guilty plea entered by an ex-Morgan Stanley executive, Garth Peterson, however, holds a very important lesson for companies that do not wish to see their own names on the broadsheets above a story about corruption enforcement actions. The lesson is simple: robust corporate compliance can protect a company even when a high-level employee commits brazen acts of bribery. … Continue Reading

Continuing the Trend: Medical Device Maker Biomet Settles FCPA Charges For More Than $22 million

By: Thad McBride and Mark Jensen On March 26, 2012, U.S. medical device maker Biomet, Inc. (Biomet) agreed with the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) and U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) to settle charges related to alleged bribes paid to obtain business in Argentina, Brazil, and China. This is the third – though almost certainly not the last – Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA) settlement with medical device manufacturers. In the wake of recent setbacks in the Shot Show and Lindsey cases, the settlement serves as a reminder that the U.S. government is still aggressively enforcing the FCPA and broadly interpreting its provisions. … Continue Reading

International Sanctions – Updates to U.S. Sanctions Laws in 2011

By: David Gallacher and Thaddeus McBride In 2011, the world experienced historic events, particularly with regard to the Arab Spring and the violent repression that followed in nations like Libya and Syria.  2011 witnessed the expansion of a number of international sanctions programs, most particularly tied to political developments in countries such as Iran, Syria, Libya, Sudan, Cuba, and North Korea.  Following is a summary of key developments in U.S. sanctions during 2011, as well as a brief look ahead at what may happen in 2012 in countries such as Iran, Yemen, and Myanmar (Burma).  … Continue Reading
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