Since we listed the top ten FCPA disgorgements a year ago, two new companies joined the list — Johnson & Johnson and Magyar Telekom. They replaced GE and Baker Hughes.
The top ten disgorgements now total $1.015 billion.
(As far as we know, all that money has stayed with the U.S. government. But last week, an NGO in Nigeria proposed that foreign governments share in some or all of the civil penalties and disgorgements paid to settle FCPA enforcement actions.)
Here are the SEC’s current top ten FCPA-related disgorgements (including prejudgment interest):
1. Siemens $350 million in 2008.
2. KBR $177 million in 2009.
3. Snamprogetti $125 million in 2010.
4. Technip $98 million in 2010.
5. Daimler $91.4 million in 2010.
6. Johnson & Johnson $48.6 million in 2011.
7. Alcatel-Lucent $45 million in 2010.
8. Magyar Telekom Plc $31.2 million in 2011.
9. Chevron $25 million in 2007.
10. Pride $23.5 million in 2010.
For comparison, here’s our current list of the top ten FCPA enforcement actions. It includes both DOJ and SEC recoveries.
Some background: Disgorgement first appeared in an FCPA case in 2004, when ABB Ltd disgorged $5.9 million to settle civil antibribery, books-and-records, and internal-controls offenses. The SEC now uses disgorgement as a remedy in more than three quarters of its FCPA enforcement actions.
Disgorgement is technically not intended as a tool to punish, Marc Alain Bohn said in a guest post last year. Instead it’s a vehicle for preventing unjust enrichment. The SEC is therefore only permitted to recover the approximate amount earned from the alleged illicit activities. Disgorging anything more would be considered punitive.
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