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Harry Cassin
Publisher and Editor

Andy Spalding
Senior Editor

Jessica Tillipman
Senior Editor

Richard L. Cassin
Editor at Large

Elizabeth K. Spahn
Editor Emeritus

Cody Worthington
Contributing Editor

Julie DiMauro
Contributing Editor

Thomas Fox
Contributing Editor

Marc Alain Bohn
Contributing Editor

Bill Waite
Contributing Editor

Shruti J. Shah
Contributing Editor

Russell A. Stamets
Contributing Editor

Richard Bistrong
Contributing Editor

Eric Carlson
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Bill Steinman
Contributing Editor

New List: The FCPA Top 40

Here’s the FCPA Blog’s list of the 40 biggest Foreign Corrupt Practices Act resolutions of all time.

What stands out?

There’s a surprisingly wide geographical distribution of the companies in the top 40. Ten come from the United States and five from France. Four companies are from Germany, followed by three each from Switzerland, Japan, Brazil, the Netherlands, and the United Kingdom.

Two companies come from Sweden. And one each from Israel, Singapore, Italy, Hungary, South Korea, and Russia.

One company (and a successor) appears on the list twice. Technip SA made the top 40 for an FCPA enforcement action in 2010 and again — as TechnipFMC plc — for another FCPA case in 2019.

(Marubeni Corporation almost made the top 40 twice. Its $88 million FCPA resolution in 2014 ranks 34th. Its other FCPA settlement in 2012 for $54.6 million missed the current top 40 by five places.)

The most active years for top 40 FCPA enforcement actions have been 2016 with seven, followed by 2010 and 2019 (so far) with six each.

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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. Mobile TeleSystems Public Joint Stock Company (Russia): $850 million in 2019.

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

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

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

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

9. Kellogg Brown & Root LLC  / Halliburton Company (United States): $579 million in 2009.

10.  Teva Pharmaceuticals Industries Inc. (Israel): $519 million in 2016.

11. Keppel Offshore & Marine Ltd. (Singapore): $422 million resolution in 2017.

12. Och-Ziff Capital Management Group LLC (United States): $412 million in 2016.

13. BAE Sytems plc (United Kingdom):$400 million in 2010.

14. Total SA (France): $398 million in 2013.

15. Alcoa Inc. (United States): $384 million in 2014.

16. Snamprogetti Netherlands B.V. / ENI S.p.A (Italy): $365 million in 2010.

17. Technip SA (France): $338 million in 2010.

18. TechnipFMC plc (United Kingdom): $301 million in 2019.

19. Walmart Inc. (United States): $282.7 million in 2019.

20. Panasonic Corporation / Panasonic Avionics Corporation (Japan): $280 million in 2018.

21. JPMorgan Chase & Co. (United States): $264.4 million in 2016.

22. SBM Offshore N.V. (Netherlands): $238 million in 2017.

23. Fresenius Medical Care AG & Co. KGaA (Germany): $231.7 million in 2019.

24. JGC Corporation (Japan): $218.8 million in 2011.

25. Embraer SA (Brazil): $205 million in 2016.

26. Daimler AG (Germany): $185 million in 2010.

27. Rolls-Royce plc (United Kingdom): $170 million in 2017.

28. Braskem S.A. (Brazil): $159.8 million in 2016.

29. Weatherford International Limited (Switzerland): $152.6 million in 2013.

30. Alcatel-Lucent S.A. (France): $137 million in 2010.

31. Avon Products Inc. (United States): $135 million in 2014.

32. Hewlett-Packard Company (United States): $108 million in 2014.

33. Magyar Telekom Plc / Deutsche Telekom AG (Hungary /Germany): $95 million in 2011.

34. Marubeni Corporation (Japan): $88 million in 2014.

35. Panalpina World Transport (Holding) Ltd. (Switzerland): $81 million in 2010.

36. Johnson & Johnson (United States): $77 million in 2011.

37. Credit Suisse Group AG (Switzerland): $76.7 million in 2018.

38. General Cable Corporation (United States): $75.75 million in 2016.

39. Samsung Heavy Industries Company Limited (South Korea): $75 million in 2019.

40. Legg Mason Inc. (United States): $64.2 million in 2018.

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A couple of notes about this list.

When two companies appear at the same entry, it means they were jointly liable, or both were named as parties in the same or parallel U.S. enforcement actions.

The values for the resolutions were taken from the DOJ and SEC enforcement documents and reflect the actual assessments by those agencies of criminal and civil penalties and disgorgement, without regard to where the DOJ and SEC said the money would or could be paid.

In the case of Odebrecht’s FCPA settlement, it wasn’t clear where on the list it should appear so we left it off.

Here’s why. In 2016 the DOJ assessed total criminal penalties against Odebrecht of $2.6 billion, with ten percent of that payable in the United States and the rest payable to authorities in Brazil and Switzerland. Soon after the FCPA resolution, Odebrecht said its ability to pay had been impaired because of lost business. The DOJ then reduced the U.S. share of the criminal penalties down from $260 million to $93 million. After that, however, Odebrecht declared bankruptcy, throwing into doubt how much of the global criminal penalties, if any, the company will pay in any country.

My thanks to the FCPA Blog’s publisher and editor, Harry Cassin, for his significant help assembling the top 40 and meticulously checking (and correcting) the entries. 

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4 Comments

  1. Dick, this is a great list. Well done in gathering it! One of the things that jumps out immediately is the very small number of U.S. issuers on the list, particularly as one gets closer to the top. Though I remain convinced that the FCPA is not used as a trade weapon (at least in most situations), it is certainly a stark reminder of the compliance demands that many foreign companies are not prepared for when becoming issues!

    • Definitely agree.

  2. Dick, Harry et al, I’d love to see your subjective list of top-however-many most impactful settlements (or opinion releases!). It would make great reading, no doubt!

  3. Bravo Dick and Harry. Outstanding.

    Beyond the stand-out issues highlighted (re geography and economics), I wonder if there are common connectors among these in respect of leadership and various other aspects of decision-making and human-factor issues? If those data points can be identified and studied, I expect there will be a lot of meaningful lessons to be extrapolated for senior executives and their boards, as well as E&C professionals and regulators.


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