During the second calendar quarter, there were five corporate FCPA enforcement actions.
The settling companies paid a total of $985 million for the resolutions.
SocGen’s $585 million settlement grabbed a spot on our list of the biggest FCPA cases.
Panasonic Corporation and an aviation subsidiary also had a mega-settlement during the quarter, paying the DOJ and SEC $280 million to resolve FCPA offenses.
During the second quarter this year, two individuals were sentenced to prison for FCPA violations. One pleaded guilty and is waiting to be sentenced.
Four companies disclosed declinations.
Here’s what happened:
DOJ / SEC Enforcement Resolutions
Credit Suisse Group AG (June 6) agreed to pay a $47 million penalty to the Justice Department to end an FCPA investigation into hiring practices in Asia. In a statement posted on the group’s website, Credit Suisse’s Hong Kong unit said it reached a non-prosecution agreement with the DOJ regarding recruitment practices in Asia between 2007 and 2013.
Société Générale S.A. (June 4) paid $585 million to resolve Libya FCPA offenses. SocGen entered into a deferred prosecution with the DOJ. A subsidiary, SGA Société Générale Acceptance N.V., pleaded guilty to an FCPA conspiracy charge in federal court in New York. Half of the FCPA penalty is payable to the French enforcement agency, Parquet National Financier.
Legg Mason Inc. (June 4), an asset manager based in Maryland, paid $64 million to resolve FCPA violations in Libya caused by its partner Société Générale S.A. The DOJ used a non-prosecution agreement to settle the case and didn’t file charges in court. The settlement amount includes a criminal penalty of $32.6 million and disgorgement of $31.6 million. The disgorgement “will be credited against disgorgement paid to other law enforcement authorities within the first year of the [non-prosecution] agreement,” the DOJ said.
Panasonic Corporation and Panasonic Aviation Corporation (April 30) agreed to pay $280 million to resolve FCPA offenses for payments to consultants of its U.S. in-flight-entertainment in the Middle East and Asia. Osaka, Japan-based Panasonic Corporation will pay $143 million in disgorgement to the SEC. Its U.S. unit — Panasonic Avionics Corporation — will pay $137 million in criminal penalties to the DOJ.
Dun & Bradstreet Corporation (April 23) paid more than $9 million to resolve FCPA charges arising from improper payments made by two Chinese subsidiaries. The subsidiaries “used third-party agents to make unlawful payments to obtain data vital to Dun & Bradstreet’s business as a provider of business financial information,” the SEC said.The investigation into DnB’s China practices started in 2012.
Ng Lap Seng (May 11), 69, a Macau-based real estate developer who bribed UN officials in exchange for support for a conference center, was sentenced to 48 months in prison. Also known as David Ng, he was fined $1 million and ordered to pay more than $300,000 in restitution to the United Nations. He was also ordered to forfeit $1.5 million.
Lawrence W. Parker Jr. (April 30), an owner of several Florida-based business, was sentenced to 35 months in federal prison for bribing an official of Aruba’s state-owned telecomms company. The official, Egbert Yvan Ferdinand Koolman, worked for Servicio di Telecommunicacion di Aruba N.V. (Setar). Koolman himself was sentenced on June 27 to three years in prison for conspiracy to commit money laundering.
Julia Vivi Wang (April 4), 57, a Chinese-born naturalized U.S. citizen, pleaded guilty in federal court in New York to conspiracy to violate the FCPA, a substantive FCPA offense, and submitting fraudulent income tax returns. She admitted her role in a plot to bribe the former president of the United Nations General Assembly, the late John Ashe.
Frank Roberto Chatburn Ripalda (April 19), 40, a dual U.S. and Ecuadorian citizen living in Miami, was charged with one count of conspiring to violate the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act, one count of violating the FCPA, one count of conspiring to commit money laundering, and two counts of money laundering. He pleaded not guilty. His trial was set for October 15.
Transocean Ltd. (May 1) said it completed an internal investigation into statements made by a former employee of Petroleo Brasilerio S.A. (Petrobras) related to the award of a drilling services contract in Brazil. “On March 5, 2018, we received a letter from the [SEC] stating that the SEC’s investigation had been concluded and that the SEC did not intend to recommend any enforcement action against Transocean by the SEC. On April 4, 2018, we received a letter from the [DOJ] stating that the DOJ had closed its inquiry into the matter.”*
Archrock, Inc. (May 3) said the “SEC staff has provided notice that they have concluded their investigation relating to compliance with the FCPA and that they do not intend to recommend an enforcement action concerning compliance with the FCPA, and the Department of Justice has also provided notice that it does not intend to proceed with any further investigation or enforcement.”*
Dun & Bradstreet (April 23) said the DOJ released a declination letter: “[W]e have declined prosecution consistent with the FCPA Corporate Enforcement Policy.* (See DnB’s enforcement action above.)
United Technologies Corporation (April 27) said in a securities filing that on “March 7, 2018, the DOJ notified UTC that it had decided to close its investigation” of the company. Discussions with the SEC are ongoing, UT said. In late 2013 and early 2014, UTC self disclosed to the DOJ, SEC, and the SFO the status of an internal investigation regarding a non-employee sales rep for the sale of jet engines and aftermarket services in China.*
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Our FCPA enforcement report for Q1 2018 is here.
Our prior full-year enforcement reports are here:
Richard L. Cassin is the publisher and editor of the FCPA Blog.