FCPAméricas Blog

What FCPA Enforcement Is Thinking in 2011

Author: Matteson Ellis

The annual National Conference on the U.S. Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA) in Washington, DC, hosted by American Conference Institute, is always a unique opportunity to hear from FCPA enforcement officials about what they are currently thinking. This year’s meeting did not disappoint. Held last week, it included noteworthy statements, some of which are provided below, by numerous officials. These statements were qualified in that each represented the official’s own views and not the views of his or her respective agency.

1. Neither the SEC nor the DOJ is focused on one-off, low-level conduct. Charles Cain, an Assistant Director of the FCPA Unit of the Division of Enforcement of the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), explained that SEC enforcement is not focused on one-off, low-level conduct. He pointed to the fact that the cases brought over the last year all dealt with improper activity that was repeated, long-term, and systemic. He said that most SEC actions have included significant activity by high-level executives. Mr. Cain stressed that officials are not looking to charge isolated conduct in an otherwise compliant corporate culture. He said that the SEC is not trying to play “gotcha.” Charles Duross, ... Read more

Boom Times in Brazil, Part 2 (Managing corruption risk in a high-opportunity / high-risk environment)

Author: Matteson Ellis

This blog post is the second of a four-part series. Part 1 outlines corruption issues to look out for when operating in Brazil’s high-opportunity / high-risk environment. Part 2 (below) gives guidance to companies that are expanding operations into Brazil on ways to manage the country’s unique risk. Part 3 gives guidance (in Portuguese) to Brazilian companies expanding internationally on the basic prohibitions and jurisdictional elements of the FCPA. Part 4 discusses developments in Brazil that may signal a sea change in corruption reform.

Brazil presents unique corruption risks to companies making investments there, some of which are discussed in Part I... Read more

The World Bank Harmonizes Global Anti-Corruption Compliance Standards

Author: Matteson Ellis

Yesterday I attended a roundtable discussion at The World Bank (the Bank) about the Bank’s sanctions and anti-corruption efforts. The discussion included several high-level Bank staff who, together, are developing and implementing policies to prevent, detect, and respond to fraud and corruption in Bank-financed global development projects.

This is important work. In FY 2011 alone, the Bank has committed over $57 billion in credits, loans, grants, and guarantees, and it has a fiduciary responsibility to ensure that these funds are used for their intended purpose.

Though I have spent several years conducting fraud and corruption investigations for the Bank’s integrity unit (the Integrity Vice Presidency), it was not until yesterday that I first learned about the notable advancements the Bank has recently made on the private sector compliance side of the effort.

Pursuant to Section 9.03 of the new sanctions procedures, the Bank... Read more


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