A prominent NGO in Nigeria recently asked the SEC’s Enforcement Division to establish a process enabling foreign government entities victimized by FCPA violations, on a case-by-case basis, to apply for some or all of the civil penalties and disgorgement proceeds companies agree to pay to settle SEC investigations. Currently the U.S. keeps all of these settlement proceeds, which frequently exceed $100 million.
The Nigerian NGO asserts that because the FCPA is grounded in foreign policy and national security concerns, there is a sound legal and policy basis for this proposal. In the NGO’s opinion, it is particularly important for the U.S. to recognize such victimized foreign government entities for their efforts to improve the integrity of their operations.
United States NGOs with programs benefiting the country of the victimized government entity could apply for settlement proceeds as well. All applicants would need to show that they have solid anti-corruption safeguards in place.
A copy of the letter on behalf of the Nigerian NGO to the SEC’s Enforcement Division can be downloaded here (pdf).
Alexander W. Sierck, pictured above, practices international business regulatory law in Washington, D.C., where he’s counsel at the law firm of Cameron LLP. For 13 years he has co-taught a course at Georgetown’s law school on international white collar crime. He’s a former Director of Trade Policy at the Antitrust Division of the DOJ. Currently he’s one of several U.S.-trained lawyers representing an Asian city in an ICC arbitration seeking to rescind a corruptly-procured contract with a European subsidiary of a large company. Sierck can be contacted here.