The Anti-Corruption Report

The definitive source of actionable intelligence covering anti-corruption laws around the globe

Articles By Topic

By Topic: Discounts

  • From Vol. 7 No.19 (Sep. 19, 2018)

    Sanofi SEC Settlement Offers Lessons on Pharma Discounts, Samples and Receipts

    French pharmaceutical giant Sanofi recently settled books-and-records and internal controls issues with the SEC, months after receiving a DOJ declination. “Bribery in connection with pharmaceutical sales remains as a significant problem despite numerous prior enforcement actions involving the industry and life sciences more generally,” Charles Cain, FCPA Unit Chief at the SEC, observed in a press release. “While bribery risk can impact any industry, this matter illustrates that more work needs to be done to address the particular risks posed in the pharmaceutical industry,” he said. The company used common techniques to funnel bribes to officials in Kazakhstan and the Middle East, and the settlement provides lessons about how to properly manage discounts, samples and GT&E expenses. See “Teva’s $519 Million FCPA Settlement Highlights Hazards of Local Production Requirements” (Jan. 18, 2017).

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  • From Vol. 5 No.3 (Feb. 10, 2016)

    From Discounts to Slush Funds: Red Flags to Heed and Eight Steps to Take to Avoid SAP’s $3.9 Million Mistakes

    As companies increase the complexity of their compliance programs, employees trying to make corrupt payments are forced to become more and more creative to circumvent those programs. German software and technology company SAP SE recently learned that the hard way when it agreed to pay nearly $3.9 million to settle charges that it violated both the books and records and the internal controls provisions of the FCPA. According to the SEC, a former SAP executive created a slush fund by providing an 82% discount to one of SAP’s local partners. That money was then used to pay $145,000 in bribes to one senior Panamanian official and offer bribes to two others. Adrian D. Mebane, vice president and deputy general counsel of The Hershey Company told The FCPA Report that the settlement reinforces a company’s obligation to maintain robust internal controls. That obligation goes beyond financial controls and includes establishing a compliant tone at the top, performing risk assessments, maintaining procedures to guarantee directives are followed for high-risk transactions, and ongoing monitoring, he said. See also “Miller & Chevalier’s Ellis Offers Insights From Former SAP Employee’s FCPA Guilty Plea and SEC Settlement” (Sep. 9, 2015).

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  • From Vol. 4 No.26 (Dec. 16, 2015)

    Brockmeyer and Stokes Offer Four Benefits of Cooperation and Four Ways Companies Can Go Wrong in Their Internal Investigations

    As government enforcers become increasingly sophisticated about business practices and bribery – and adjust their strategies accordingly – companies can be left befuddled as to what is expected from them.  In our previous issue, The FCPA Report analyzed the DOJ and SEC’s changing approaches in detail based on the “Year in Review” panel at this year’s ACI FCPA conference.  During that panel Kara Brockmeyer, Chief of the FCPA Unit of the Division of Enforcement of the SEC, and Patrick Stokes, Deputy Chief of the Fraud Section of the Criminal Division of the DOJ, also clarified their expectations for companies and their compliance programs.  The FCPA Report spoke to several anti-corruption defense experts to find out whether these expectations are reasonable and how companies can best meet them.  For coverage of last year’s panel, see “Top FCPA Enforcers Tout Voluntary Disclosure and Warn About International Cooperation; The Defense Bar Responds,” The FCPA Report, Vol. 3, No. 24 (Dec. 3, 2014); and “Top FCPA Officials Talk Compliance Tips and the Defense Bar Weighs In,” The FCPA Report, Vol. 3, No. 25 (Dec. 17, 2014).

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  • From Vol. 4 No.18 (Sep. 9, 2015)

    Miller & Chevalier’s Ellis Offers Insights from Former SAP Employee’s FCPA Guilty Plea and SEC Settlement

    In a rare joint effort to pursue an individual, the DOJ and SEC recently reached settlement agreements with Vicente Eduardo Garcia, a former SAP vice president who orchestrated a scheme to bribe Panamanian officials.  On August 12, 2015, Garcia pled guilty to a one-count Information filed in the Northern District of California, charging him with conspiracy to violate the FCPA.  On the same day, the SEC entered a Cease-and-Desist Order in which Garcia agreed to pay a civil penalty of more than $85,000 based on substantially similar allegations.  The enforcement actions demonstrate that companies may be able to avoid liability even when their employees engage in corruption, and serve as a warning about the types of schemes prevalent in Central America.  The FCPA Report recently spoke with Matteson Ellis, a member of Miller & Chevalier and an expert on FCPA enforcement in Latin America.  Ellis explained how this case fits into a broader pattern of FCPA cases coming out of Central America in general, and Panama in particular.  He also discussed whether further actions related to Garcia’s scheme are likely and what the SEC and DOJ may be signaling about companies’ compliance programs.  See also “Corruption Risk and the Changing Legal Climate in Latin America,” The FCPA Report, Vol. 3, No. 4 (Feb. 19. 2014).

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