During the third calendar quarter, Sweden’s Telia reached a blockbuster resolution with the DOJ and SEC, landing on top of our Top Ten list.
There were two other corporate enforcement actions. In one, the SEC resolved civil actions with Halliburton and its former vice president. In the other, the SEC fined Alere for anti-bribery offenses and accounting fraud.
Two FCPA defendants — a Russian citizen and a French citizen — were sentenced to new prison terms. A German citizen from Brazil who was extradited from Panama was sentenced to time served.
In federal court in Manhattan, a jury convicted an FCPA defendant from Macau of UN bribes.
Five companies — four from the United States and one from South Africa — reported declinations.
Here’s what happened:
DOJ / SEC Enforcement Resolutions
Halliburton Company (July 27) paid the SEC $29.2 million in disgorgement and penalties for violating the FCPA’s books and records and internal accounting controls provisions. In the settlement, Halliburton paid $14 million in disgorgement plus $1.2 million in prejudgment interest, and a $14 million penalty.
Jeannot Lorenz (July 27), Halliburton’s former vice president, paid the SEC a $75,000 penalty for causing the company’s FCPA violations, circumventing internal accounting controls, and falsifying books and records.
Telia Company AB (September 21) agreed with the DOJ and SEC to pay $965 million to resolve FCPA violations in Uzbekistan. An Uzbek subsidiary, Coscom LLC, agreed to plead guilty. Some of the penalties and disgorgement ordered by the DOJ and SEC will be paid to Dutch and Swedish authorities.
Alere Inc. (September 28) agreed to pay the SEC more than $13 million to settle charges that it bribed foreign officials and committed accounting fraud. Alere subsidiaries in India and Colombia used distributors and consultants to make improper payments to officials of government agencies or entities under government control.
Ng Lap Seng (July 27), 69, of Macau, was found guilty by a federal jury in Manhattan of bribing two United Nations officials in exchange for help promoting development of a conference center. He was convicted of one count of conspiracy to commit bribery and to violate the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act, one count of paying illegal bribes and gratuities (domestic bribery), two counts of violating the FCPA, one count of conspiracy to commit money laundering, and one count of money laundering. Sentencing is pending.
Dmitrij Harder (July 18), 42, a Russian national living in Huntingdon Valley, Pennsylvania, was sentenced in federal court in Philadelphia to 60 months in prison for bribing an officer at the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development. He pleaded guilty in 2016 to two counts of violating the FCPA. He was also ordered to forfeit $1.9 million.
Amadeus Richers (September 25), 66, a German citizen living in Brazil, was sentenced to time served plus three years of supervised released. He pleaded guilty in July in federal court in Miami to one count of conspiracy to violate the FCPA. He admitted that from 2001 until 2004, he and his co-conspirators paid $3 million in bribes to officials at Telecommunications D’Haiti. He had been a fugitive until his extradition from Panama ealier this year.
Frederic Pierucci (September 25), 49, a French citizen, was sentenced to 30 months in prison for bribing officials in Indonesia. Pierucci was vice president of global sales for an Alstom SA subsidiary in Windsor, Connecticut. He was also fined $20,000 by the federal court in New Haven, Connecticut. He pleaded guilty in 2013 to an FCPA conspiracy and a substantive FCPA offense.
Joseph Baptiste (August 29), 64, of Fulton, Maryland, a retired U.S. Army colonel, was charged for his alleged role in a foreign bribery and money laundering scheme in connection with a planned $84 million port development project in Haiti. Baptiste was arrested on a criminal complaint filed in federal court in Boston. He was charged with one count of conspiracy to violate the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act and to launder money.
International Business Machines Corporation (July 25) or IBM said it received notices in June 2017 from the DOJ and the SEC that, based on the information to date, the agencies closed their respective investigations into allegations related to Poland, Argentina, Bangladesh and Ukraine without pursuing any enforcement action against the company.
Newmont Mining (July 26) said the DOJ is closing its FCPA investigation of the company. Newmont disclosed earlier in 2017 that it received a declination letter from the SEC for the same matter. Newmont disclosed in 2016 that it was investigating some business activities outside the United States. The investigation included a review of compliance with the FCPA by Newmont and its affiliates and contractors.
Net 1 UEPS Technologies, Inc. (July 27) based in Johannesburg, South Africa said its legal counsel received a letter from the DOJ that it has closed its investigation concerning possible violations of the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act. The DOJ investigation commenced in November 2012. In June 2015, the SEC sent a letter to Net1 stating that it had concluded its investigation and that it did not intend to recommend an enforcement action. Company disclosure published on FCPA Tracker.
MTS Systems Corporation (August 7) said it was notified by the DOJ and SEC in August 2017 that their respective investigations were closed as to the company without further action. MTS said the investigation confirmed that former China managers violated the conflict of interest provisions of the MTS Code of Conduct through their involvement with an independent business that competed with MTS in the China market. Company disclosure published on FCPA Tracker.
Vantage Drilling International (August 16) said it received a letter from the DOJ indicating that the agency has closed its investigation without any action. The investigation arose in 2015 from allegations of improper payments to former officials of Petrobras in connection with the contracting of a drillship to Petrobras. Vantage said a parallel investigation by the SEC remains open. Company disclosure published on FCPA Tracker.
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Here are prior full-year enforcement reports:
Richard L. Cassin is the publisher and editor of the FCPA Blog.