A story in yesterday’s Wall Street Journal by Chris Matthews and Sam Rubenfeld said NCR Corp managers complained about a Dutch in-house lawyer who opposed sales practices that might have violated the FCPA and eventually replaced him with a Chinese lawyer.
A ‘tipster’ showed documents to the WSJ indicating possible violations by employees of NCR in China and across the Middle East. The documents appeared to show ‘that NCR gave gifts to officials in Oman and took them on international trips,’ the WSJ said.
An in-house NCR lawyer, according to the report, ‘voiced concerns that the company’s practices disregarded its own anti-bribery policies and blocked an NCR-sponsored trip to a spa for Chinese bank officials.’
‘The trip was ultimately approved and the lawyer subsequently moved to another country,’ the WSJ said.
It’s not clear yet if FCPA violations happened or whether the SEC or DOJ are investigating the allegations.
One email the WSJ reporters saw said:
My team and my view is [the in-house lawyer] doesn’t understand China at all. My team keeps asking me why we have a lawyer from Holland who knows nothing about China to manage a 200 millions business in China?? He doesn’t care about our business, but I have to care both business and policy.
The WSJ said NCR subsequently hired a Chinese lawyer as ‘country counsel’ for China.
The original in-house lawyer, who had been based in Singapore, relocated to NCR’s Amsterdam office. The WSJ wasn’t able to contact him through the company; an anonymous employee there said the lawyer is no longer with NCR.
The Georgia, USA company makes ATM machines and self service kiosks for the retail, hospitality, travel, gaming, and entertainment industries.
‘NCR Investigates Alleged FCPA Violations’ by Christopher M. Matthews and Samuel Rubenfeld is here.