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Government Enforcement Exposed - "The GEE"
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23 Apr 2015 FCPA / BRAZIL: THE PERFECT STORM FOR ANTI-CORRUPTION ENFORCEMENT

With ever increasing pressure on its government to stamp out corruption, Brazil presents a “Perfect Storm” for Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA) / Anti-Corruption enforcement approaching the 2016 Olympics. Having the Olympic Games centered in Rio de Janeiro presents the perfect opportunity for Dilma Rousseff’s government to show that it takes enforcement of anti-corruption laws seriously. As such, companies should ensure their compliance initiatives are being vigorously updated and monitored. This is especially the case with regard to third-party relationships.   While passage of the Clean Companies Act (CCA) brought Brazil in line with an ever growing international consensus against corruption, the CCA has been sparingly enforced. Though the CCA penalizes both corporations and individuals for corrupt conduct, implementing regulations called for by its passage…

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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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17 Sep 2014 News from Down Under: The Case against Leighton Holdings Further Highlights Problems with the Facilitation Payments Exception

  Traditionally, Australia has not vigorously enforced its anti-corruption laws.  In fact, an OECD report released in October 2012 found that, as of that date, enforcement of Australia’s Bribery of Foreign Officials Act was “extremely low,” considering the number of Australian companies exposed to bribery risk. It notes that as of 2012, only 1 of 28 referred allegations resulted in a prosecution. That may be changing with Monday’s report in the Australian Financial Review that Leighton Holdings, an international contracting company based in Australia and active in mining and oil and gas, has internal emails and other documents that show that it have paid substantial bribes in Iraq to secure oil and gas contracts. According to that article, among other things, certain leaked emails which…

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06 Jun 2014 Canadian Corruption of Foreign Officials Act Update: Three Takeaways from the Cryptometics Case

The Royal Canadian Mounted Police (the RCMP) recently announced charges against Robert Barra, Dario Bernini and Shailesh Govindra, three individuals connected with Cryptometrics Canada (Cryptometrics), a subsidiary of U.S.-based Cryptometrics Corporation (Cryptometrics USA), for violations of Section 3.1 of the Canadian Corruption of Foreign Officials Act (the CFPOA).  These charges relate to a failed scheme to bribe Indian officials to secure the award of a $100 million contract for facial recognition software, and come in the wake of the conviction and sentencing of Nazir Karigar, a Canadian citizen and former agent for Cryptometrics, for his involvement in the scheme.   The charges are significant for U.S. companies – particularly those doing business in Canada – for three reasons.   First, the charges were brought against…

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22 Apr 2014 Here Comes Canada: Corruption Prosecutions Likely to Increase Under the Amended CFPOA

Discussions of anti-corruption and anti-bribery prevention and compliance often center on the U.S. Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (“FCPA”) and the U.K. Bribery Act, given the high-profile nature of those laws and the agencies that enforce them.  But companies would be wise to familiarize themselves with Canada’s Corruption of Public Officials Act (“CFPOA”) and the recent cases that have been brought thereunder, given that investigations under the recently amended CFPOA appear to be on the rise. The CFPOA was enacted in 1999 with Canada’s ratification of the OECD Convention.  However, there was virtually no enforcement of the CFPOA for the first 10 years of its existence, in part because the law contained major loopholes that prevented serious enforcement.  Among those loopholes was the inability of Canadian…

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