Uptick In FCPA Enforcement Suggests 2015 Drop Was An Outlier


In this article, Marc Alain Bohn and Michael Skopets discuss developments in U.S. Foreign Corrupt Practices Act enforcement thus far in 2016. "After a relative slowdown in 2015, the pace of enforcement activity under the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act has increased sharply in 2016, resulting in a record 15 first-quarter enforcement actions and 17 year to date," the authors said. "This pickup in enforcement dispositions announced by both the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission [SEC] and the U.S. Department of Justice [DOJ] appears to be a natural rebound following the drop in resolved enforcement actions during the second half of 2015." The authors observed a reduced pace of enforcement in 2015 but noted it was likely due to the confluence of a variety of factors rather than indicative of a trend.

"The FCPA dispositions entered into by the U.S. enforcement agencies in 2016 to date reflect many of these factors and may represent a microcosm of enforcement trends we are likely to see in the near term on the FCPA front: a DOJ focus on high-value corporate settlements; a significant number of 'lower impact' corporate enforcement dispositions by the SEC that the DOJ frequently chooses not to pursue; a rise in criminal and civil enforcement actions against individuals; renewed scrutiny of the health care sector; a continued emphasis on China, along with a focus on other high-risk regions such as Latin America and former Soviet Union countries; and an acceleration of efforts to cooperate with other enforcement agencies, foreign and domestic," the authors said. This article is excerpted from Miller & Chevalier's FCPA Spring Review, which is available here.

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