This past year marked the 40th anniversary of the U.S. Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (“FCPA”). Since its enactment in 1977, the U.S. Department of Justice (the “DOJ”) has brought approximately 300 FCPA enforcement actions, while the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (the “SEC”) has brought approximately 200 cases. This anniversary year, the first year of the Trump administration, demonstrated that the FCPA continues to be a powerful tool in combating corruption abroad and encouraging compliance at global companies.
Earlier this week, the United Kingdom’s Serious Fraud Office (“SFO”) charged Barclays, its former CEO, and three other former top executives with criminal fraud. The prosecution stems from a long-running inquiry into whether Barclays failed to adequately disclose 322 million paid to Qatari investors in late 2008, during a period when the bank received billions in funding from affiliates of the Qatari government. Investigators reportedly examined whether Barclays and its former executives arranged for portions of the payments to be funneled into the Qatari bailout, in violation of British law. Despite this novel action, market reaction was muted, with Barclays’ shares trading in line with other U.K. banks. Continue reading →
Following a two-year investigation, Tesco PLC has announced that its subsidiary Tesco Stores Limited (Tesco Ltd) had agreed in principle the terms of a Deferred Prosecution Agreement (DPA) with the UK Serious Fraud Office (SFO), subject to final judicial approval at a hearing scheduled for 10 April 2017 before Sir Brian Leveson PC. The DPA would result in Tesco Ltd paying a $129 million fine to the SFO, together with the SFO’s costs. It is also likely to include an admission of criminal liability and an agreed statement of facts, albeit publication of details may be withheld to avoid prejudicing the ongoing prosecution of former Tesco executives. Continue reading →