Alert:"FCPA: 2019 Year-In-Review"
As we look back on 2019, several FCPA enforcement trends emerge. The following summarizes the key statistics and developments in 2019:
- The Department of Justice (“DOJ”) brought 29 enforcement actions in 2019. 12 guilty pleas were entered and the DOJ obtained 4 convictions (Mark Lambert, Lawrence Hoskins, John Baptiste, and Roger Richard Boney).
- The Securities and Exchange Commission (“SEC”) brought 18 enforcement actions, 5 of which were against individuals (Gordon Coburn, Steven Schwartz, Sridhar Thiruvengadam, Nancy Gougarty, and Jerry Li).
- As we discussed in our Mid-Year Review, sanction totals in 2019 were the highest ever, topping $2.9 billion, with Telfonaktiebolaget LM Ericsson (“Ericsson”) paying more than $1 billion to the DOJ and SEC and Russian Mobile TeleSystems PJSC (“MTS”) paying $850 million to the DOJ and SEC.
- As we discussed in our March 2019 Alert, the DOJ declined to prosecute several companies this year, including Cognizant Technology Solutions Corporation and Quad/Graphics, Inc. The declinations were based upon the factors set forth in the DOJ’s Corporate Enforcement Policy, which was updated several times in 2019. Specifically, the Corporate Enforcement Policy rewards voluntary disclosure of FCPA violations, full cooperation, and timely remediation.
These statistics signal that in 2020, the government will continue to pursue enforcement actions aggressively, and the amount of overall sanctions will continue to grow. The number of declinations by the DOJ may continue to grow as the DOJ clarifies its corporate enforcement policy. We will continue to monitor these trends throughout 2020.