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Government Enforcement Exposed - "The GEE"
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27 Feb 2015 M&A DUE DILIGENCE FAILURES: FCPA & GOODYEAR

On Feb. 24, 2015, the SEC announced charges against Goodyear Tire & Rubber Company for violating the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA). These charges involve Goodyear subsidiaries in Kenya and Angola paying bribes to government and private-sector workers in exchange for sales in each country. As a result, Goodyear was sanctioned $16.2 million by the SEC. The heart of the SEC’s investigation found that Goodyear violated books and records rules when officials of its African subsidiaries falsely recorded $3.2 million in bribes as legitimate expenses over a four (4) year period.   In charging and sanctioning Goodyear, the SEC found that Goodyear “did not prevent or detect these improper payments because it failed to implement adequate FCPA compliance controls at its subsidiaries in sub-Saharan Africa.”…

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25 Feb 2015 PART II – CORRUPTION ENFORCEMENT IN BRAZIL: WHAT DOES THE FUTURE HOLD?

The anti-corruption regulatory environment in Brazil has become more risky and complex during the CCA era. Do enforcement trends foreshadow eventual robust application of the CCA? The number of recent high profile cases brought against individuals in Brazil strongly suggests a climate with little tolerance for bribery. What was historically commonplace within Brazilian economic and political spheres may no longer be the norm. Indeed, in taking the oath of office for her second term as President on Jan. 1, 2015, Dilma Rousseff promised to embark on an anti-corruption crusade in response to the corruption scandal engulfing Petrobras. She went further in pledging to forward the Brazilian legislature an anti-corruption bill during the first half of 2015 and to lead the Brazilian political system in a…

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23 Feb 2015 PART I – CORRUPTION ENFORCEMENT IN BRAZIL: WHAT DOES IT LOOK LIKE?

Anti-corruption enforcement in Brazil has experienced an uptick over the past year. Enforcement of the Clean Companies Act (CCA) is having an impact in both the Brazilian business and political spheres. The future of Brazilian’s anti-corruption enforcement, together with anticipated new legislation and regulations in this area dictates that companies doing business in Brazil take heed and consider enhanced compliance efforts to ensure business activity stays within the bounds of the CCA and any expanded enforcement efforts.   While Brazil is the world’s fourth largest democracy, it has been saddled in recent years by multiple corruption scandals. Transition of the political landscape in Brazil to one of democracy in 1985 increased hope for greater transparency. Each of the six (6) presidential administrations since, however, has…

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03 Feb 2015 Checking in on the U.K.’s Serious Fraud Office

The last two months of 2014 were, as we noted, banner months for U.S. anti-corruption settlements, as the DOJ and SEC secured settlements totaling approximately $1 billion. But while the focus stateside was on the settlements secured by U.S. authorities, December 2014 also turned out to be a significant month for the U.K. Serious Fraud Office (SFO), which obtained two convictions under its anti-corruption laws. These convictions demonstrate that the SFO is backing up its promises of enforcement under its bribery laws and that we may see more action in 2015.   First, on Dec. 8, 2014, Gary West and Stuart Stone were convicted of individually violating the U.K. Bribery Act in connection with the operations of Sustainable Growth Group (SGG). This was the first…

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