Sunday, February 14, 2010

In the News

Despite Statoil and Siemens (among other enforcement actions), many continue to describe the FCPA as the law that applies only to U.S. companies. Of course that is a wrong statement, as the FCPA applies to all issuers (foreign or domestic) and any foreign company or national that engages in acts in furtherance of a bribery scheme while in U.S. territory. In any event, it is sometimes hard to change perceptions.

Next time you hear this misperception, think February 12, 2010.

On February 12, 2010, it was reported that Daimler AG (a German carmaker) and Technip (a French oil and gas company) were close to resolving FCPA related enforcement actions.


As reported here, Daimler is poised to "pay about $200 million and two subsidiaries will plead guilty to resolve a U.S. investigation into whether it paid bribes to secure business overseas." According to the company's prior filings, an internal investigation found that "improper payments were made in a number of jurisdictions, primarily in Africa, Asia, and Eastern Europe." In addition, the report notes that Daimler has also faced scrutiny in connection with its role in the U.N. Oil-For-Food program in Iraq. The report quotes a Daimler spokesperson as saying, "we are in discussions with the DOJ and SEC regarding consensually resolving the agencies' investigations."

The report also notes that "government lawyers submitted the deal in Washington to U.S. District Judge Richard Leon." Judge Leon is also overseeing the Africa Sting case. If true, the normally transparent DOJ (at least when it comes to alerting the public to FCPA enforcement actions) has yet to publicly announce any Daimler filing on its website. Nor does the DOJ website contain any information about the recent BAE matter. Perhaps it is because of the recent weather in D.C. which resulted in DOJ offices being closed for several days.


According to the company's release (here), "Technip and the SEC and DOJ have discussed a resolution of all potential claims against the company" arising from an investigation involving TSKJ, a joint venture company in which Technip has a 25% share. The company disclosed that it will record a €245 million charge to reflect the "estimated costs" of the resolution. According to the release, "the potential resolution does not contemplate a criminal conviction for Technips's role in the TSKJ joint venture."

The TSKJ joint venture in Nigeria has been the focus of several previous FCPA enforcement actions. See here, here, and here.

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