On February 17, the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) announced a settlement with KT Corporation (KT Corp.), South Korea’s largest comprehensive telecommunications operator, for alleged violations (neither admitted nor denied by the company) of the books and records and internal accounting control provisions of the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA).[1]

This matter, the first FCPA corporate settlement in 2022, is of interest for several reasons:

Continue Reading In First FCPA Corporate Matter for 2022, SEC Ties Important Aspects of the Resolution to the Company’s Cooperation – and Other Key Takeaways

As previously reported, on November 26, 2021, the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) Council issued a Recommendation for Further Combating Bribery of Foreign Public Officials in International Business Transactions (the “2021 Recommendation”).[1]  Our blog post earlier this week reviewed key aspects of the 2021 Recommendation that are directed towards government action.

The Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) Council issued a Recommendation for Further Combating Bribery of Foreign Public Officials in International Business Transactions (the “2021 Recommendation”) on November 26, 2021. As we reflect on 2021 in terms of US enforcement actions and policy, and the Biden Administration’s new anti-corruption strategy issued in December, some further assessment of this Recommendation seemed appropriate.

The Council’s last recommendation in this area was issued in 2009. Intervening developments and experience gave rise to the 2021 Recommendation, which was under consideration for some time prior to its issuance.[1]

The 2021 Recommendation cannot be characterized with a single headline. It is a multi-faceted document, comprised of 31 individual recommendations divided in to 16 sections. It is broad in scope, covering the waterfront of the OECD’s historical activity in the anti-corruption arena—not just through the Anti-Bribery Convention but through some of its “soft law” instruments—as well as some important issues not previously addressed by the OECD.

Continue Reading Key Takeaways from the OECD 2021 Recommendation on Foreign Bribery

On January 21, 2022, the DOJ issued a rare FCPA Opinion Procedure Release,[1] only the second since 2014.[2] While the facts presented were quite unusual – a ship, with its captain and crew, detained without explanation in the waters of a foreign country, and facing an ambiguous demand for payment in order to be released – it offers more broadly applicable lessons.

Facts Presented to DOJ

The facts at issue arose from detention by the naval forces of a foreign country (“Country A”) of a maritime vessel, including the captain and crew, owned by a US-based company (the “Requester”) and the accompanying demand for payment of $175,000 in cash from a third party purporting to act on behalf of the Country A Navy (the “Third-Party Intermediary”).[3] The Requester, concerned that the third party intended to pass on the payment being demanded to one or more Country A government officials,[4] decided to seek an opinion from the DOJ. Resolution of the matter was urgent, as the detained captain was suffering from serious medical conditions putting his health and safety at significant risk.[5]

Continue Reading DOJ Releases Rare FCPA Opinion, Finding No Corrupt Intent or Business Purpose Where Payment Made Under Duress