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DOJ/SEC Release New Edition of FCPA Resource Guide

On July 3, 2020, the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) Criminal Division and the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) released the second edition of A Resource Guide to the U.S. Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (the “FCPA Resource Guide”).

The first edition of the Guide was released in November 2012, which was the first time the enforcement agencies had published such a compilation of detailed information about the FCPA and the agencies’ enforcement of the statute. The updates to the second edition reflect many developments in FCPA enforcement since the FCPA Resource Guide was first published, including discussion of policy changes, such as the 2017 DOJ Corporate Enforcement Policy, and more recent court decisions, more of which have been handed down in recent years while defendants have increasingly challenged FCPA prosecutions. The second edition also includes discussion of numerous enforcement actions brought in the intervening years and, helpfully, updates the hypotheticals in the Guide to reflect fact patterns and issues raised by these recent investigations and prosecutions.

Among the more notable updates in the second edition:

  • There is now updated guidance and additional information elaborating on interpretations of the statutory language, updating guidance on the definition of “foreign official,” “instrumentality,” and “agent” in light of judicial opinions of the last several years, such as United States v. Hoskins, in which the Second Circuit clarified the applicability of the statute to individuals not directly covered by the FCPA.

  • The Guide has also been updated to reflect policy changes since its initial 2012 publication, including: the DOJ FCPA Corporate Enforcement Policy, which, among other things, formalized the process for obtaining leniency in investigations; Selection of Monitors in Criminal Division matters, which provided guidance to prosecutors in determining whether to impose a monitor as part of a corporate resolution; Coordination of Corporate Resolution Penalties, also known as the “Anti-Piling on Policy;” and the Criminal Division’s Evaluation of Corporate Compliance Programs, which provided guidance for prosecutors in evaluating the effectiveness of a company’s compliance program.

  • The discussion of corporate successor liability has been updated to include additional detail in the context of mergers and acquisitions. The additions reflect public statements made by DOJ and SEC officials, and offer practical advice about due diligence and additional considerations regarding disclosure of violations uncovered during due diligence.

  • The discussion of disgorgement in SEC enforcement actions has been updated to include case law from the Supreme Court, including last month’s decision in SEC v. Liu..

  • The Guide also updates the chapter explaining the principles that guide enforcement by the SEC and DOJ, explaining factors the agencies consider in evaluating how to resolve an investigation, including with examples of matters that were resolved by declination.

The release of this second edition of the FCPA Resource Guide reflects a continuing effort by the DOJ and SEC to provide transparency around the agencies’ enforcement regime. The updates and additional guidance are useful for private practitioners, in-house legal and compliance professionals, and others who wish to understand better how DOJ and SEC investigate and enforce the FCPA.

© 2020 Foley & Lardner LLPNational Law Review, Volume X, Number 188

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About this Author

Rohan Virginkar, Foley Lardner Law Firm, Washington DC, Government Enforcement Attorney
Partner

Rohan Virginkar is a former federal prosecutor and a member of the Government Enforcement Defense & Investigations Practice in the Washington D.C. office of Foley & Lardner LLP. His practice focuses on advising corporations and executives on government and regulatory actions; conducting internal investigations; leading corporate compliance matters; and representing individuals and corporations in white collar matters and investigations by the U.S. Department of Justice, United States Attorney’s Offices, the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission, and other...

202-295-4058
Olivia Singelmann Government Enforcement Attorney
Associate

Olivia Singelmann is an associate and litigation attorney with Foley & Lardner LLP. She is a member of the firm’s Government Enforcement Defense & Investigations, Business Litigation & Dispute Resolution, and Securities Enforcement & Litigation Practices.

Olivia’s practice includes litigation matters, with a focus on representing clients in investigations and/or enforcement proceedings by the Department of Justice (DOJ), the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), and the Public Company Accounting Oversight Board (PCAOB). Olivia has experience representing companies and individuals in government and internal investigations relating to: the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA) and U.S. sanctions (OFAC) in both English and Spanish; public company accounting; compliance with public company audit standards; and criminal antitrust matters. Olivia also has experience representing businesses in a broad range of complex litigation matters before state and federal courts.

Prior to joining Foley, Olivia participated in the Georgetown University Law Center Domestic Violence Clinic where she represented domestic violence victims in Temporary Protection Order and Civil Protection Order proceedings in D.C. Superior Court. She also served as a summer associate in Foley’s Washington, D.C. office where she assisted attorneys in general litigation matters relating to securities enforcement, white collar defense, and business dispute resolution.

202.295.4146
David W. Simon, Foley Lardner, Government Matters, FCPA Attorney
Partner

David W. Simon is a litigation attorney who devotes much of his practice to helping corporate clients avoid and manage crises that potentially give rise to government enforcement actions. He provides compliance advice, conducts internal investigations, defends companies against enforcement actions, and represents companies in litigation.

The Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA) is a principal focus of Mr. Simon’s practice. He also has extensive experience representing clients in antitrust matters and in defending False Claims Act investigations...

414.297.5519
Jaime Guerrero, White collar criminal defense attorney, Foley law firm
Partner

Jaime Guerrero is a partner and litigation lawyer with Foley & Lardner LLP. Mr. Guerrero focuses in the areas of government enforcement actions, white collar criminal defense, Foreign Corrupt Practices Act ("FCPA") investigations, accounting litigation, securities litigation, and partnership disputes. He represents companies and individuals in parallel civil and criminal proceedings initiated by regulatory and prosecuting agencies for a variety of alleged wrongdoing and business disputes. Mr. Guerrero has conducted internal investigations, in both English and Spanish...

213-972-4634
John E. Turlais, Foley Lardner, Litigation Lawyer, Internal Investigations
Special Counsel

John Turlais is senior counsel and a litigation lawyer with Foley & Lardner LLP where he focuses on conducting internal investigations and defending corporate clients facing enforcement actions by the Department of Justice, Office of Thrift Supervision, U.S. Postal Inspection Service, Immigration and Customs Enforcement, or other federal or state agencies. Mr. Turlais has conducted numerous internal investigations involving corporate compliance with government regulations and federal laws, as well as investigations relating to internal or external company matters,...

414-297-5584