Since Operation Car Wash began in 2014, the Ministério Público Federal (“MPF”), Brazil’s federal prosecution service, has emerged as a leader in the global fight against corruption. In addition to its role as the principal entity prosecuting conduct related to Operation Car Wash—Brazil’s largest corruption investigation in history—the MPF has become a trusted and effective partner of U.S. enforcement agencies.
According to a chart published in Miller and Chevalier’s FCPA Winter Review 2017, Brazilian authorities, including the MPF, have cooperated with the United States in three of the ten largest internationally-coordinated resolutions involving the FCPA. Brazil appears on the chart more than any other country except the United Kingdom, with which it is tied. In the last six months alone, coordinated efforts between Brazilian authorities, U.S. authorities, and other global partners have led to companies paying more than US$4.5 billion in fines and disgorgement.
In all three settlements involving Brazil that appear on the Ten Largest Internationally-Coordinated Resolutions involving the FCPA Chart, the MPF has played a key role.
In October 2016, Brazilian aircraft manufacturer, Embraer, settled allegations related to bribery schemes in the Dominican Republic, Mozambique, Saudi Arabia, and India through a coordinated effort between the United States and Brazil. As part of the coordinated resolution, Embraer agreed to pay more than $205 million in penalties and disgorgement. For its part, the MPF, along with the Brazilian Securities and Exchange Commission—Comissão de Valores Mobiliários—entered into an unprecedented leniency accord that requires Embraer to share certain information obtained by its U.S. independent compliance monitor with Brazilian authorities. In addition, the MPF took the lead in initiating criminal prosecutions of 11 individuals who participated in the scheme.
In December 2016, Brazilian construction conglomerate, Odebrecht, and its partially-owned petrochemical subsidiary settled with Brazilian, U.S., and Swiss authorities, agreeing to pay more than US$3.5 billion in fines and disgorgement. In addition to playing a key role in the multi-year investigation, the MPF once again took the lead in criminally prosecuting individuals involved in the scheme. To date, the MPF has secured convictions of several individuals at the center of the scheme, including that of Odebrecht’s former CEO, Marcelo Odebrecht, who is currently serving a 19-year sentence.
The Rolls-Royce resolution announced in January 2017, by U.K., U.S., and Brazilian authorities is the latest resolution to highlight the MPF’s important role in the global fight against corruption. As part of the coordinated resolution, Rolls-Royce entered into DPAs with the United States and the United Kingdom and signed a leniency accord with the MPF. While the U.K. DPA did not cover conduct in Brazil, the DOJ credited Brazil’s $25,579,170 penalty against Rolls-Royce’s total fine in the United States because it covered similar conduct. The MPF’s participation in the Rolls-Royce resolution demonstrates its commitment to remain at the forefront of the global fight against corruption. Rather than allowing the DOJ to unilaterally prosecute Rolls-Royce for its Brazil-related conduct, as other countries have done, the MPF announced a parallel resolution, which paved the way for Brazil to collect approximately $25.6 million in fines.
As Operation Car Wash expands and with companies continuing to publicly disclose possible FCPA violations in Brazil, the MPF’s role as leader in the global fight against corruption and as a trusted partner of U.S. authorities is only likely to grow.
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Post authored by Guest