During the third quarter, there were seven corporate Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA) settlements with disgorgement and penalties nearing $1.97 billion. These corporate actions included another hiring practices case (Credit Suisse), a repeat offender (Stryker), and a global settlement involving a state-owned entity (Petrobras). In addition, two individuals entered into civil settlements with the SEC and two individuals pleaded guilty to FCPA-related conspiracy counts for bribing officials at Venezuela’s state-owned energy company, Petroleos de Venezuela S.A. (PDVSA). Also, two companies received declination letters this quarter from the Department of Justice (DOJ) pursuant to the FCPA Corporate Enforcement Policy — Guralp Systems Limited and The Insurance Corporation of Barbados Limited.
There was also an important court decision this quarter. On July 12, 2018, a case against two former Och-Ziff Capital Management executives was dismissed on statute of limitations grounds. The court found that all claims involved conduct that occurred more than five years prior to the SEC’s filing of the case and that the relief sought by the SEC was “at least partially penal” so was time-barred in line with the Supreme Court’s recent holding in Kokesh v. SEC. The court also rejected the SEC’s position that its suit could go forward seeking injunctive relief finding that an injunction “would operate at least partly as a penalty,” so also time-barred for the same reason.
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