Thursday, January 27, 2011

DOJ Enforcement of the FCPA - Year in Review

A few weeks ago I ran a SEC FCPA enforcement year in review (here).

Today I highlight facts and figures from the DOJ's FCPA enforcement program in 2010.

And what it year it had.

As noted in this recent DOJ release, "the Criminal Division’s Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA) enforcement involved imposition of $1 billion in penalties in FY 2010, the largest in the history of FCPA enforcement."

In comparison, in 2000 the DOJ did not bring one FCPA enforcement action. The past decade has thus witnessed a remarkable transformation – not as to the FCPA itself (the statute has not changed since 1998), but as to FCPA enforcement and theories of prosecution both at the DOJ and the SEC.

As the DOJ’s former Assistant Chief for FCPA enforcement candidly stated (here), “the government sees a profitable program, and it’s going to ride that horse until it can’t ride it anymore.”

This post highlights the 16 DOJ corporate FCPA enforcement actions from 2010. Not included are BAE (an enforcement action (see here) in which the DOJ did not even charge FCPA offenses) or Lindsey Manufacturing (see here) given that the company was indicted and thus the enforcement action remains open.

Of the 16 enforcement actions, 6 of the actions were in Panalpina related actions; 2 were the related Bonny Island, Nigeria actions; and 2 were the related Alliance One and Universal actions. Thus, if one looks at unique enforcement actions (the best way to analyze FCPA facts and figures in my opinion), the DOJ broght 9 unique corporate FCPA enforcement actions in 2010.

In the 16 corporate FCPA enforcement actions from 2010, the DOJ brought in $870 million in criminal fines - thrown in the $400 million BAE enforcement action if you insist and the number is $1.27 billion.

Tack on the SEC's recovery (both civil penalties and disgorgement) in 2010 corporate FCPA enforcement actions of approximately $530 million and one finds $1.8 billion in corporate FCPA fines, penalties and disgorgement in 2010.

DOJ FCPA enforcement in 2010 was both large ($240 million in criminal fines against both Technip and Snamprogetti, $93.6 million in criminal fines against Daimler) and small ($32,000 against Mercator Corporation in the bizarre James Giffen related case involving two snowmobiles, and $1.7 million against RAE Systems).

The numbers present some interesting results.

Despite aggressive DOJ rhetoric and despite the DOJ seeking a sentencing guidelines enhancement applicable to FCPA offenses (see here) in 10 of 12 FCPA enforcement actions where an analysis was possible, the DOJ agreed to a criminal fine below the minimum range suggested by the sentencing guidelines.

In these 10 cases, the average was approximately 25% below the minimum guidelines range and the distribution range was 55% below the minimum guidelines range (Pride International) and 5% below the minimum guidelines range (Panalpina).

The only two corporate FCPA enforcement actions from 2010 where the company paid a criminal fine within the guidelines range were Alliance One (the company voluntarily disclosed and receive a non-prosecution agreement) and Alcatel-Lucent.

[Note - why are only 12 of the 16 enforcement actions included in the above analysis? I excluded Innospec because the company's claimed inability to pay (but see here) resulted in an invalid fine to guidelines analysis; I excluded Mercator Corp. because the DOJ and the company could not even agree on what guidelines to use; and I excluded Noble Corp. and RAE Systems (both enforcement actions resolved via an NPA) because the DOJ never set forth a guidelines range in the agreement or related documents].

During the November 2010 Senate FCPA hearing (see here) an issue discussed was the general lack of individual DOJ FCPA prosecutions.

How many corporate FCPA enforcement actions involved related individual prosecutions of company employees (not talking agents here such as in Innospec) by the DOJ (recognizing that such prosecutions may be forthcoming in the future)?

Of the 17 corporate DOJ enforcement actions or indictments (Lindsey Manufacturing is back in the mix here) 12 of the 17 enforcement actions (70%) have not involved (at least thus far) DOJ prosecutions of company employees. Included in the 12 enforcement actions are the top 3 from 2010 from a criminal fine perspective: Technip, Snamprogetti, and Daimler.

What about non-prosecution and deferred prosecutions vs. old fashioned law enforcement (i.e., if a company committed a crime the DOJ charged it and if the company did not commit a crime the DOJ did not charge it)?

2010 saw 15 such resolution vehicles (4 NPAs) and (11 DPAs).

As Gibson Dunn highlighted in this recent report, FCPA enforcement actions comprised approximately 50% of all DOJ NPA or DPA agreements.

Among the criticisms noted in the Gibson Dunn report is that "by continually entering DPAs and NPAs, the DOJ can shield its expansive interpretation of important statutes from judicial review." As to the FCPA the report states, "because FCPA allegations against corporations rarely, if ever, go to trial, and DPAs and NPAs are subject to only minimal judicial scrutiny, the DOJ's sometimes expansive interpretations of the FCPA is never truly tested."

Spot on!

As evident from the material below, a typical way for DOJ to resolve corporate FCPA enforcement actions in 2010 was for the parent company to enter into an NPA or DPA and for a subsidiary (usually a foreign subsidiary) to plea to a criminal charge. Daimler, Alliance One, Universal, ABB, Panalpina, Pride International, Royal Dutch Shell, and Alcatel-Lucent all involved such hybrid resolution vehicles.

In the SEC year in review piece, I noted that 97% of the $529,967,294 collected in SEC FCPA enforcement actions in 2010 appears to be in enforcement actions that were voluntarily or otherwise publicly disclosed and not the result of original investigation by either the SEC or DOJ.

What does this number look like for DOJ FCPA enforcement actions in 2010 - recognizing that by disclosure I am talking about voluntary disclosure in the traditional sense (i.e. the company disclosing the conduct at issue to the enforcement agencies) as well as other forms of public disclosure (such as identification in the U.N. Oil for Food Report, the result of a whistleblower complaint to U.S. authorities, the result of prior foreign law enforcement agency investigations, or based on disclosures by other companies)?

Of the $870 million in criminal fines collected by the DOJ in FCPA enforcement actions, 97% would appear to fit this description as well.

Thus, much like the SEC, the DOJ also appears to be a reactive agency when it comes to corporate FCPA enforcement.

Set forth below are facts and figures from each 2010 DOJ corporate FCPA enforcement action.

Innospec (March 2010)

See here for the prior analysis and principal allegations.

Charges: Conspiracy to commit wire fraud and to violate the FCPA's anti-bribery and books and records provisions; wire fraud; and FCPA anti-bribery and books and records violations.

Resolution Vehicle: Plea.

Guidelines Range: $101.5 - $203 million.

Penalty: $14.1 million (based on claimed inability to pay).

Disclosure: Yes.

Monitor: Yes - three years.

Individuals Charged by DOJ: No.

Daimler (March 2010)

See here for the prior analysis and principal allegations.

Charges: Daimler AG (conspiracy to violate the FCPA's books and records provisions and violating the FCPA's books and records provisions); DaimlerChrysler China Ltd. (conspiracy to violate the FCPA's anti-bribery provisions and violating the FCPA's anti-bribery provisions); DaimlerChrysler Automotive Russia SAO (conspiracy to violate the FCPA's anti-bribery provisions and violating the FCPA's anti-bribery provisions); Daimler Export and Trade Finance GmbH (conspiracy to violate the FCPA's anti-bribery provisions and violating the FCPA's anti-bribery provisions).

Resolution Vehicle: Daimler AG (deferred prosecution agreement); DaimlerChrysler China Ltd. (deferred prosecution agreement); DaimlerChrysler Automotive Russia SAO (plea); Daimler Export and Trade Finance GmbH (plea).

Guidelines Range: $116 - $232 million.

Penalty: $93.6 million (20% below the minimum guidelines range).

Disclosure: Yes.

Monitor: Yes - three years.

Individuals Charged by DOJ: No.

Technip (June 2010)

See here for the prior analysis and principal allegations.

Charges: Conspiracy to violate the FCPA's anti-bribery provisions and violating the FCPA's anti-bribery provisions.

Resolution Vehicle: Deferred prosecution agreement.

Guidelines Range: $318.4 - $636.8 Million

Penalty: $240 million (25% below the minimum guidelines range).

Disclosure: Yes.

Monitor: Yes - two years.

Individuals Charged by DOJ: No.

Snamprogetti (July 2010)

See here for the prior analysis and principal allegations.

Charges: Conspiracy to violate the FCPA's anti-bribery provisions and aiding and abetting FCPA anti-bribery violations.

Resolution Vehicle: Deferred prosecution agreement.

Guidelines Range: $300 Million - $600 Million

Penalty: $240 million (20% below the minimum guidelines range)

Disclosure: Yes.

Monitor: No.

Individuals Charged by DOJ: No.

Alliance One (August 2010)

See here for the prior analysis and principal allegations.

Charges: Alliance One International AG (conspiracy to violate the FCPA, violations of the FCPA's anti-bribery provisions, and violations of the FCPA's books and records provisions); Alliance One Tobacco Osh LLC (conspiracy to violate the FCPA, violations of the FCPA's anti-bribery provisions and books and records provisions).

Resolution Vehicle: Alliance One International Inc. (non-prosecution agreement); Alliance One International AG (plea); Alliance One Tobacco Osh LLC (plea).

Guidelines Range: $8.4 - $16.8 million.

Penalty: $9.45 million.

Disclosure: Yes.

Monitor: Yes - three years.

Individuals Charged by DOJ: Yes.

Universal Corp. (August 2010)

See here for the prior analysis and principal allegations.

Charges: Universal Leaf Tabacos Ltd. (conspiracy to violate the FCPA's anti-bribery and books and records provisions and violating the FCPA's anti-bribery provisions).

Resolution Vehicle: Universal Corporation (non-prosecution agreement); Universal Leaf Tabacos Ltd. (plea).

Guidelines Range: $6.3 - $12.6 million

Penalty: $4.4 million (30% below the minimum guidelines range).

Disclosure: Yes.

Monitor: Yes - three years.

Individuals Charged by DOJ: No.

Mercator Corp. (August 2010)

See here for the prior analysis and principal allegations.

Charges: FCPA anti-bribery violations.

Resolution Vehicle: Plea.

Guidelines Range: The parties disagreed as to whether the 2009 or 2008 guidelines applied. If 2009, $650,000 - $1.3 million; If 2008, $30,000 to $60,000.

Penalty: $32,000.

Disclosure: Unclear.

Monitor: No.

Individuals Charged by DOJ: Yes (but Giffen pleaded to a misdemeanor tax violation).

ABB Ltd. (September 2010)

See here for the prior analysis and principal allegations.

Charges: ABB Inc. (conspiracy to violate the FCPA's anti-bribery provisions and violating the FCPA's anti-bribery provisions); ABB Ltd. - Jordan (conspiracy to commit wire fraud and to violate the FCPA's books and records provisions).

Resolution Vehicle: ABB Ltd. (deferred prosecution agreement); ABB Inc. (plea); ABB Ltd. - Jordan (plea).

Guidelines Range: $30.42 - $60.2 million.

Penalty: $19 million (approximately 38% below the minimum guidelines range).

Disclosure: Yes.

Monitor: Company agreed to follow the recommendations of an independent compliance consultant.

Individuals Charged by DOJ: Yes.

Lindsey Manuf. (October 2010)

See here for the prior analysis and principal allegations.

Charges: Conspiracy to violate the FCPA's anti-bribery provisions and violating the FCPA's anti-bribery provisions.

Resolution Vehicle: N/A

Guidelines Range: N/A

Penalty: N/A

Disclosure: Unclear.

Monitor: N/A

Individuals Charged by DOJ: Yes.

Panalpina (November 2010)

See here for the prior analysis and principal allegations.

Charges: Panalpina World Transport (Holding) Ltd. (conspiracy to violate and violating the FCPA's anti-bribery provisions) ; Panalpina Inc. (conspiracy to violate the FCPA's books and records provisions and aiding and abetting certain customers in violating the FCPA books and records provisions).

Resolution Vehicle: Panalpina World (deferred prosecution agreement); Panalpina Inc. (plea).

Guidelines Range: 72.8 million to $145.6 million.

Penalty: 70.6 million (approximately 5% below the minimum guidelines range).

Disclosure: Yes.

Monitor: No.

Individuals Charged by DOJ: No.

Pride International (November 2010)

See here for the prior analysis and principal allegations.

Charges: Pride International Inc. (conspiracy to violate the FCPA's anti-bribery and books and records provisions and violating the FCPA's anti-bribery and books and records provisions); Pride Forasol S.A.S. (conspiracy to violate the FCPA's anti-bribery and books and records provisions, violating the FCPA's anti-bribery provisions, and aiding and abetting violations of the FCPA's books and records provisions).

Resolution Vehicle: Pride International Inc. (deferred prosecution agreement); Pride Forasol (plea).

Guidelines Range: $72.5 - $145 million.

Penalty: $32.6 million (approximately 55% below the minimum guideline range).

Voluntary Disclosure: Yes.

Monitor: No.

Individuals Charged: No.

Tidewater (November 2010)

See here for the prior analysis and principal allegations.

Charges: Tidewater Marine International Inc. (conspiracy to violate the FCPA's anti-bribery and books and records provisions and violating the FCPA's books and records provisions).

Resolution Vehicle: Deferred prosecution agreement.

Guidelines Range: $10.5 - $21 million.

Penalty: $7.4 million (30% below the minimum guidelines range).

Disclosure: Yes.

Monitor: No.

Individuals Charged by DOJ: No.

Transocean (November 2010)

See here for the prior analysis and principal allegations.

Charges: Transocean Inc. (conspiracy to violate the FCPA's anti-bribery and books and records provisions; violating the FCPA's anti-bribery provisions; and aiding and abetting FCPA books and record violations).

Resolution Vehicle: Deferred prosecution agreement.

Guidelines Range: $16.8 - $33.6 million.

Penalty: $13.4 million (20% below the minimum guidelines range).

Disclosure: Yes.

Monitor: No.

Individuals Charged by DOJ: No.

Noble Corp. (November 2010)

See here for the prior analysis and principal allegations.

Charges: N/A

Resolution Vehicle: Non-prosecution agreement.

Guidelines Range: Not addressed.

Penalty: $2.6 million.

Disclosure: Yes.

Monitor: No.

Individuals Charged by DOJ: No.

Royal Dutch Shell (November 2010)

See here for the prior analysis and principal allegations.

Charges: Shell Nigeria Exploration and Production Company Ltd. (conspiracy to violate the FCPA's anti-bribery and books and records provisions; aiding and abetting FCPA books and records violations).

Resolution Vehicle: Deferred prosecution agreement.

Guidelines Range: $34.2 - $68.4 million.

Penalty: $30 million (approximately 15% below the minimum guidelines range).

Disclosure: No.

Monitor: No.

Individuals Charged by DOJ: No.

RAE Systems (December 2010)

See here for the prior analysis and principal allegations.

Charges: Although a non-prosecution agreement, the agreements states "knowing violations of the FCPA's books and records and internal controls provisions."

Resolution Vehicle: Non-prosecution agreement.

Guidelines Range: Not addressed.

Penalty: $1.7 million.

Disclosure: Yes.

Monitor: No.

Individuals Charged by DOJ: No.

Alcatel-Lucent (December 2010)

See here for the prior analysis and principal allegations.

Charges: Alcatel-Lucent S.A. (FCPA books and records and internal control provisions); Alcatel-Lucent France S.A., Alcatel-Lucent Trade International A.G., and Alcatel Centroamerica S.A. (conspiracy to violate the FCPA's anti-bribery, books and records, and internal control provisions).

Resolution Vehicle: Alcatel-Lucent S.A. (deferred prosecution agreement); Alcatel-Lucent France S.A., Alcatel-Lucent Trade International A.G., and Alcatel Centroamerica S.A. pleas.

Guidelines Range: $86.58 - $173.16 million.

Penalty: $92 million.

Disclosure: Yes.

Monitor: Yes - three years.

Individuals Charged by DOJ: Yes.

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