Thursday, April 29, 2010

Daimler Under Investigation in Russia

Earlier this month, Damiler AG and certain of its subsidiaries resolved DOJ and SEC FCPA enforcement actions (see here for prior posts).

While Daimler escaped FCPA antibribery charges and did not have to plead guilty to anything (it was offered a deferred prosecution agreement), DaimlerChrysler Automotive Russia SAO ("DCAR")(now known as Mercedes-Benz Russia SAO) pleaded guilty to a criminal information charging conspiracy and FCPA antibribery violations.

The charged conduct focused on Daimler's and DCAR's relationships with: "the Russian Ministry of Internal Affairs ("MVD") a department and agency of the Russian government principally responsible for police, militia, immigration and other functions" including supervising the "Russian traffic police; "the Special Purpose Garage ("SPG") an 'instrumenality' of the Russian government"; "Machinoimport a Russian government-owned and controlled purchasing agent for the City of Moscow," an "instrumentality of the Russian government"; and "Dorinvest a Russian government-owned and controlled purchasing agent for the City of Moscow," an "instrumentality of the Russian government."

It used to be that companies could largely put the issues to bed after resolving DOJ and/or SEC enforcement actions. However, "tag-a-long" FCPA-like enforcement actions or inquiries in other countries are becoming a new norm.

Case in point - Daimler.

And we're not talking Germany here.

We're talking Russia.

Earlier this month, The Moscow Times (here) noted that the Daimler case, because of the Russia conduct at issue, presented a test for President Dmitry Medvedev to see "just how determined he is to fight corruption."

Yesterday, The Moscow Times (here) reported that Russia's Interior Ministry opened an internal investigation "after a personal order" from President Medvedev. According to the article, Russia's Prosecutor General has "sent a request to the U.S. Justice Department for information on bribes given by carmaker Daimler." For additional information (see here).

Daimler is not the only company under scrutiny in Russia.

As previously posted (here) H-P's Moscow headquarters were recently raided by Russian authorities in connection with a bribery investigation.

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