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Ericsson jolts the FCPA top ten list

Stockholm-based Ericsson cracked our top ten list Friday with a $1 billion mega-settlement that landed at number two.

Non-U.S. companies continue to dominate the FCPA top ten, still holding nine of ten spots. The only U.S. company currently on the list is KBR / Halliburton, now ranked ninth with its $579 million resolution from 2009.

With the addition of Ericsson there are now four mobile phone companies in the FCPA top ten. Two of them — Ericsson and Telia — are based in Sweden.

Sweden, by the way, ranks as one of the world’s cleanest countries. It’s tied at number three on TI’s latest Corruption Perceptions Index, which measures perceived corruption at home.

Apparently a country’s rank on the CPI isn’t always a good predictor of how companies from there will behave when they do business overseas. In addition to the examples from Sweden of Ericsson and Telia, former top ten company Keppel Offshore is from Singapore (CPI rank three) and current top-tenner VimpelCom is from the Netherlands (CPI rank eight).

*     *     *

Here are the ten biggest FCPA cases of all time based on penalties and disgorgement assessed in the U.S. enforcement documents.*

1. Petróleo Brasileiro S.A. – Petrobras (Brazil): $1.78 billion in 2018.

2. Telefonaktiebolaget LM Ericsson (Sweden): $1.06 billion in 2019.

3. Telia Company AB (Sweden): $965 million in 2017.

4. MTS (Russia): $850 million in 2019.

5.  Siemens (Germany): $800 million in 2008.

6.  VimpelCom (Netherlands): $795 million in 2016.

7. Alstom (France): $772 million in 2014.

8. Société Générale S.A. (France): $585 million in 2018.

9.  KBR / Halliburton (United States): $579 million in 2009.

10.  Teva Pharmaceutical (Israel): $519 million in 2016.

Falling off our top ten list is Keppel Offshore & Marine Ltd. (Singapore) with its $422 million resolution in 2017.

* Odebrecht / Braskem appeared on the top ten list in late 2016 but were removed in April 2017 after the DOJ reduced their overall penalties based on “ability to pay.”

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