Tag Archives: corruption

Growing Pains for Expanding Tech Companies: Uber Investigated for FCPA Violations

On August 29, it was announced that the U.S. Department of Justice is considering an investigation into Uber, the San Francisco-based technology company that has expanded its ride-sharing service abroad to more than 70 countries. Press reports indicate that DOJ may investigate potential violations by company personnel of the U.S. law against foreign bribery, known … Continue Reading

Are You Within Reach of Anti-Money Laundering Enforcement? The Tentacles of Money Laundering Schemes Affect Real Estate Investors Worldwide

The U.S. Treasury Department has signaled the latest focus of its enforcement: real estate ventures with ties to money laundering schemes. Individual real estate investors and companies involved in luxury real estate, real estate development or investment, property management, and escrow or mortgage services around the globe should heed Treasury’s warnings.… Continue Reading

Take the Mansion, But Leave the Thriller Jacket: DOJ Settles with Equatorial Guinea Veep for $30 Million in Assets Bought With Corrupt Proceeds

On October 10, 2014, the U.S. Department of Justice announced a civil settlement with Teodoro (“Teddy”) Nguema Obiang, Vice President of Equatorial Guinea and eldest son of the country’s current President, under the DOJ’s Kleptocracy Asset Recovery Initiative. Through a combination of forfeiture and divestment, Obiang agreed to turn over $30 million in U.S.-based assets purchased in a “corruption-fueled spending spree,” according to the … Continue Reading

Beyond the Checklist: Seven Keys to Effective Trade Due Diligence

Anti-corruption due diligence can be vexing even in the best of conditions; it is often made more complicated by time and business pressures that arise in the context of a merger or acquisition or an urgent sales opportunity.  Anti-corruption compliance is always fact-intensive, and due diligence is no exception, requiring many judgment calls about what … Continue Reading

Lessons Learned from the GlaxoSmithKline Bribery Investigation

By: James Zimmerman and Cheryl Palmeri The recent enforcement of Chinese anti-bribery laws against British pharmaceutical company GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) highlights the compliance challenges faced by foreign companies operating in China. GSK’s Chinese subsidiary is accused of funneling almost $500 million in bribes to doctors and hospitals in China exchange for purchasing or prescribing the company’s products.  The alleged bribes included sexual favors, cash, and invitations to join high-end academic conferences.  GSK employees also allegedly accepted kickbacks and improper commission fees, issued fake invoices, and wrote special bills related to the value-added tax. … Continue Reading

Is China Getting Serious or Redirecting Responsibility? New guidance on Chinese Anti-Bribery Enforcement

By: Reid Whitten and Thad McBride For years, a significant number of Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA) enforcement actions have focused on or involved the People’s Republic of China (PRC), Chinese subsidiaries, or Chinese officials.  It is hard to avoid the conclusion that the PRC is fertile ground for corruption: many of its major industries are dominated by state-owned or -controlled companies.  A tradition of gift-giving and hospitality may blur the distinction between friendly gesture and kickback.  And the sheer volume of business transacted in the country makes policing illicit exchanges for business advantages a tall order for any enforcement agency. … Continue Reading

Department of Justice Obtains First Forfeiture Judgment Under the Kleptocracy Asset Recovery Initiative

By: Thad McBride and Cheryl Palmeri On June 28, 2012, the U.S. Department of Justice executed a forfeiture order over $401,931 in assets traceable to Diepreye Solomon Peter Alamieyeseigha, the former governor of Bayelsa State, Nigeria.  Mr. Alamieyeseigha served as governor of Bayelsa State from 1999 until December 2005, when he was impeached on corruption allegations.  Following his impeachment, Mr. Alamieyeseigha pleaded guilty in Nigeria to money laundering and failing to disclose a bank account in Florida.  In 2007, he was sentenced to two years in prison. … 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

A Noble Pursuit? SEC Brings FCPA Charges Against Individual Oil Services Executives

By: Thad McBride and Cheryl Palmeri On February 24, 2012, the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) charged three executives of Noble Corporation (Noble), a Swiss oil services company, with violating the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA). The SEC accused Noble’s former CEO and the company’s current Division Manager in Nigeria of arranging hundreds of thousands of dollars in bribes from 2003 to 2007. According to the SEC, the bribes were to induce Nigerian customs officials to grant new temporary permits and extensions to allow Noble’s oil rigs to remain in the country improperly. Both individuals are disputing the charges. … Continue Reading

Even the Bagman: Foreign Agent Sentenced to Thirty Month Prison Term for FCPA Violations

By: Reid Whitten On December 22, 2011, Ousama Naaman, a former agent for Innospec Inc., was sentenced to serve 30 months in prison and pay a fine of $250,000 following his guilty plea to charges of violating the FCPA and conspiracy to violate the FCPA, among others.  Naaman, a Canadian citizen, was arrested in Germany in July 2009 and extradited to the United States to face prosecution. … Continue Reading
LexBlog