Background

The Department of Justice reports that a publicly-traded U.S. company has agreed to pay more than $218 million to resolve investigations by the DOJ and the Securities and Exchange Commission into its violations of the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act. 

According to information from the two agencies, between 2009 and 2017 the company, “despite repeated and glaring bribery-related red flags,” conspired to pay bribes through third-party sales agents and subsidiary employees to government officials to obtain and retain business with state-owned businesses in Vietnam, Indonesia, and India. The company obtained profits of approximately $98.5 million as a result of the scheme.

The DOJ states that the company has entered into a three-year non-prosecution agreement under which it agreed to pay a criminal fine of approximately $98.2 million and administrative forfeiture of approximately $98.5 million. The company will also pay approximately $103.6 million in disgorgement and prejudgment interest as part of a resolution of the SEC’s parallel investigation.

A DOJ official noted that the settlement “demonstrates the real benefits that companies can receive if they self-disclose misconduct, substantially cooperate, and extensively remediate.” The department explained that even though the company’s self-disclosure was not reasonably prompt the company received credit for making it and for cooperating with the DOJ’s investigation, such as by proactively identifying information previously unknown to the department and collecting and producing voluminous relevant documents and translations. The company also promptly engaged in extensive remedial measures, including strengthening its anti-corruption compliance program, transforming its business model and risk management process to reduce corruption risk and embed compliance in the business, and engaging in continuous testing, monitoring, and improvement of all aspects of its compliance program.   

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