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Transparency International has released its 2012 Corruption Perceptions Index, which provides an annual snapshot of the perceived corruption level of almost every country in the world. While corruption can occur in any country, global companies should be aware of where their international areas of operation fall on the index and take steps to minimise the risks inherent in operating in countries that are perceived as more corrupt.
The US Department of Justice and the US Securities and Exchange Commission have released their long-awaited Foreign Corrupt Practices Act guidance. While the guidance fails to provide interpretive clarification to address numerous unanswered questions regarding the act's practical application, it does offer some insight into the government's analysis of the law that may prove valuable to multinationals, individuals and practitioners alike.
A district court judge has vacated the conviction of and dismissed the indictment against Lindsey Manufacturing Company and two individual co-defendants, Keith E Lindsey and Steve K Lee, because of prosecutorial misconduct. It was the first case since the enactment of the US Foreign Corrupt Practices Act in which a corporate defendant was tried and convicted for violations of the act.
With renewed confidence in the economy and rising stock prices, 2011 is likely to bring a host of mergers and acquisitions. Without appropriate pre-acquisition due diligence, companies looking to acquire a strategic advantage may also inadvertently acquire liability under the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act or other anti-corruption laws. This update outlines the measures that companies should be taking as part of the diligence process.
The Department of Justice has announced that Technip SA has entered into a deferred prosecution agreement and will pay a $240 million criminal penalty to resolve charges that the company violated the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act. In addition, Technip has agreed to disgorge an additional $98 million in ill-gotten gains to the Securities and Exchange Commission.
Daimler AG has finalized settlements with the US Department of Justice and the Securities and Exchange Commission resolving those agencies' investigations into allegations that Daimler and its subsidiaries violated the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act. Both the size of the penalties and fines imposed in the Daimler settlement and the continued requirement of multi-year monitor oversight are noteworthy.
The US Department of Justice ended 2009 with another enforcement action involving violations of the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act. Telecommunications company UTStarcom Inc has agreed to pay $1.5 million for providing travel and "other things of value" to employees of state-owned companies in China. The Securities and Exchange Commission has also taken action.