Nov. 10, 2021

Credit Suisse Settles Bribery Allegations With SEC but DOJ Focuses on Investor Fraud

In the FCPA world, it can take quite a while for the other shoe to drop. In late 2018, eight individuals, including three former bankers at Credit Suisse Group AG (Credit Suisse), were indicted for their alleged involvement in a $2-billion fraud and kickback scheme involving the development of a tuna fishing fleet and other maritime projects in Mozambique. Almost three years later, the bank has now settled with the DOJ, SEC, the United Kingdom’s Financial Conduct Authority and the Swiss Financial Market Supervisory Authority in a $547‑million coordinated global settlement that includes $200 million of loan forgiveness. In this first article about the settlement, we look at the underlying risky transactions and investigate how the company avoided FCPA charges from the DOJ. The second article will consider whether Credit Suisse nabbed a good deal and how it might have fared differently if its settlement came after the recent announcement of DOJ policy changes. See “U.S. Indicts Eight Foreign Nationals in Connection With a $2‑Billion Scheme in Mozambique” (Apr. 17, 2019).

The Accountability Message: What DOJ’s Policy Updates on Corporate Crime Mean for Compliance Officers

When Deputy Attorney General Lisa Monaco recently announced a slate of DOJ corporate enforcement policy changes in a keynote address, the audience was mainly the members of the white collar bar in attendance at the ABA’s 36th National Institute on White Collar Crime. However, her remarks on these policy changes will have a significant impact on another, unnamed audience – compliance officers. To these front-line compliance workers and the companies they seek to protect, Monaco’s message of increased accountability was clear. In a guest article, Audrey L. Harris and Juliet Gunev of Mayer Brown outline what the DOJ is seeing, changing and watching and then offer five ideas on how compliance officers can use the accountability message to empower compliance programs and help both protect and grow stakeholder trust. See “Effective Compliance in the Spotlight: Roles, Reality and Real Life Suggestions” (Nov. 13, 2019).

Petrofac Sentence Highlights the Value of Cooperation Versus Remediation

The recent sentencing of Petrofac and its former head of sales for bribery offenses under the U.K. Bribery Act highlights the ongoing fallout from the Unaoil case, the value of cooperation with SFO investigations and the need for enhanced due diligence and monitoring of business intermediaries in high-risk sectors and regions. See ACR’s three-part series on the SFO’s Cooperation Guidance: “Transparency” (Sep. 18, 2019); “Waiving Privilege” (Oct. 16, 2019); and “Internal Investigation Expectations” (Nov. 13, 2019).

All Eyes on the Northern Triangle: A Call to Action for Companies Operating in the Region

When it comes to anti-corruption enforcement, many describe Central America as a “flyover region” because, historically, it has received less attention from U.S. regulators than other places. Recent actions by the Biden Administration, however, suggest that this trend may change. In a guest article, Alejandra Montenegro Almonte and Maria Lapetina of Miller & Chevalier discuss these policy announcements and newly launched initiatives, including the establishment of a tip line to simplify reporting corruption directly to U.S. authorities. Additionally, they outline steps companies that operate in the region should take to ensure they are not swept up in this dragnet. See “Anti-Corruption Developments in Central America: A Clear Path Forward?” (Mar. 18, 2020).

Navigating India’s Evolving Corruption Risk Landscape: The Local Landscape

Corruption risk in India is not as extreme as some may think, but there are certain regional risks companies should be aware of, Sherbir Panag, a partner at Panag & Babu in New Delhi, said at a recent Strafford CLE Webinar. Panag, along with other panelists, discussed the evolving corruption risks in India. In this second part of a two-part series, we share their insights on India-specific corruption risk and the local anti-corruption landscape in India. The first part covered FCPA trends and recent FCPA cases that involved misconduct in India. See “Ten Tips for Performing Effective Anti-Corruption Investigations in India” (May 24, 2017).

McKinsey Welcomes Former Walmart Global Chief Ethics & Compliance Officer

Daniel Trujillo joins the consulting firm as both a partner and its chief compliance officer. For insight from Trujillo, see “Walmart CECO Discusses the Retailer’s Decision to Seek ISO 37001 Certification” (Mar. 21, 2021).

Baker McKenzie Welcomes New Head of Compliance and Investigation Practice Group in Kyiv

Ario Dehghani has more than 10 years of experience advising on matters related to compliance, white-collar investigations and E.U. regulatory law issues. For more from Baker McKenzie, see “Bribes Funneled Through PE Fund Lead to Westport Fuel and CEO’s $4.1M SEC Settlement” (Oct. 30, 2019).