It was a quiet start to the year, with just one stealth enforcement action by the SEC that didn’t mentioned the FCPA by name, and none by the DOJ.
So the feds’ go-slow enforcement trend continues. That probably reflects trial burdens at the agencies, changes in high-level personnel, and a typical early-year pace.
There was a final sentencing for Viktor Kozeny’s Swiss lawyer, and a significant dismissal of an SEC civil emforcement case on jurisdictional grounds.
And there were six reported declinations in the quarter.
Here’s what happened:
DOJ / SEC Enforcement Resolutions
Keyuan Petrochemicals Inc. (February 28), a China-based firm, jointly settled FCPA books and records and internal controls offenses with the SEC. Keyuan paid civil penalties of $1 million.
Aichun Li (February 28), the former CEO of Keyuan Petrochemicals, jointly settled FCPA books and records and internal controls offenses with the SEC. Li paid $25,000 in civil penalties.
Hans Bodmer (March 6), the Swiss lawyer who pleaded guilty in 2004 to helping move money used to bribe officials in Viktor Kozeny’s Azeri privatization scheme, was sentenced to the time he already served in jail. Bodmer, 57, was jailed in Korea after his arrest there in 2003 and in the United States following his extradition. He was released when he agreed to plead guilty and cooperate with prosecutors.
Herbert Steffen (February 19), a German citizen and former chief executive officer of Siemens SA Argentina, won dismissal of the SEC’s civil suit against him, proving he did not have minimum contacts with the United States necessary to subject him to personal jurisdiction. He was accused of helping pay $100 million in bribes to officials in Argentina to help Siemens win national ID contracts.
Dyncorp International Inc. (March 27), via its parent Delta Tucker Holdings, said the DOJ won’t bring an enforcement action following an investigation into payments by two subcontractors to speed up the issuance of visas and permits. Dyncorp first disclosed in November 2009 that it had found about $300,000 in payments by third parties to ‘expedite the issuance of a limited number of visas and licenses from foreign government agencies.’
Zimmer Holdings Inc. (February 27) disclosed that the DOJ and SEC won’t bring any FCPA enforcement actions after a five-year investigation into overseas marketing and sales practices. Zimmer received letters of declination from the SEC in December 2012 from the DOJ on February 1, 2013.
Nabors Industries Ltd. (February 20) said the DOJ won’t bring an FCPA enforcement action after an investigation first launched more than five years ago. Nabors was a customer of Panalpina but not among the seven companies that settled simultaneous FCPA cases in November 2010. In 2012, the SEC told Nabors it would not bring an enforcement action.
3M Company (February 14) said the DOJ and SEC won’t bring an FCPA enforcement action following an internal investigation into allegations of bid rigging and bribery by a subsidiary in Turkey. The investigation had been pending since 2009.
Raytheon Company (February 13) said in its annual report that ‘the SEC staff and the DOJ have completed their review’ of potential FCPA matters ‘without recommending enforcement action.’ Raytheon said last year it had completed a self-initiated internal review of certain international operations and had voluntarily disclosed the results to SEC and DOJ.
Deere & Company (January 10) said the SEC won’t bring an FCPA action following an investigation into alleged payments to foreign officials in Russia and surrounding countries. The SEC inquiry was first reported in August 2011.