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Enforcement is back (if it ever left)

Acting Assistant Attorney General Mythili Raman of the Justice Department’s Criminal Division Did someone say FCPA enforcement had slowed down? Look again.

Already this month there have been settled enforcement actions involving Philips, Parker Drilling, and Ariel Sharef of Siemens, new charges unsealed against four former BizJet execs with two guilty pleas, and two Alstom execs with one guilty plea, and obstruction charges in a grand jury FCPA investigation.

What’s behind the bustle?

The new acting head of the DOJ’s criminal division, Mythili Raman, said Tuesday: ‘Stamping out foreign bribery is a Justice Department priority, and we are determined to continue our vigorous enforcement of the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act.’

After our enforcement report for Q1 ’13 showed just one corporate action and no new cases against individuals, we said the feds’ go-slow trend might be due to trial burdens, changes in high-level personnel, and a typical early-year pace.

But that’s now history. April has been a break-out month.

Even before the April rush, there were signs that FCPA enforcement hadn’t really slowed.

At least twelve declinations had come from the DOJ and SEC in the last three quarters, with half in the first quarter of 2013.

As a reader pointed out: ‘That’s a pretty good amount if they were viewed as enforcement actions. There may be a push inside the DOJ and SEC to clear the backlog of the “little” cases. As you know these things big or small tend to drag on for years.’

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