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Monday, December 17, 2012 at 3:33AM
The FCPA Blog in Corporate Investigations List, Private Right of Action, Shareholder Litigation, Smith and Wesson, Subpoena

Here's the latest FCPA disclosure from Massachusetts-based Smith & Wesson from its Form 10-Q filed with the SEC on December 6. We've paragraphed the text for readability:

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On January 19, 2010, the DOJ unsealed indictments of 22 individuals from the law enforcement and military equipment industries, one of whom was our former Vice President-Sales, International & U.S. Law Enforcement. We were not charged in the indictment. We also were served with a Grand Jury subpoena for the production of documents.

We have always taken, and continue to take seriously, our obligation as an industry leader to foster a responsible and ethical culture, which includes adherence to laws and industry regulations in the United States and abroad.

Although we are cooperating fully with the DOJ in this matter and have undertaken a comprehensive review of company policies and procedures, the DOJ may determine that we have violated FCPA laws.

On February 21, 2012, the DOJ filed a motion to dismiss with prejudice the indictments of the remaining defendants who are pending trial, including our former Vice President-Sales, International & U.S. Law Enforcement. On February 24, 2012, the district court granted the motion to dismiss.

We cannot predict, however, when the investigation will be completed or its outcome. There could be additional indictments of our company, our officers, or our employees. If the DOJ determines that we violated FCPA laws, we may face sanctions, including significant civil and criminal penalties. In addition, we could be prevented from bidding on domestic military and government contracts and could risk debarment by the U.S. Department of State. We also face increased legal expenses and could see an increase in the cost of doing international business. We could also see private civil litigation arising as a result of the outcome of the investigation. In addition, responding to the investigation may divert the time and attention of our management from normal business operations. Regardless of the outcome of the investigation, the publicity surrounding the investigation and the potential risks associated with the investigation could negatively impact the perception of our company by investors, customers, and others.

In fiscal 2011, we received a subpoena from the staff of the SEC giving notice that the SEC is conducting a non-public, fact-finding inquiry to determine whether there have been any violations of the federal securities laws. It appears this civil inquiry was triggered in part by the DOJ investigation into potential FCPA violations.

Although we are cooperating fully with the SEC in this matter, the SEC may determine that we have violated federal securities laws. We cannot predict when this inquiry will be completed or its outcome. If the SEC determines that we have violated federal securities laws, we may face injunctive relief, disgorgement of ill-gotten gains, and sanctions, including fines and penalties, or may be forced to take corrective actions that could increase our costs or otherwise adversely affect our business, results of operations, and liquidity. We also face increased legal expenses and could see an increase in the cost of doing business. We could also see private civil litigation arising as a result of the outcome of this inquiry. In addition, responding to the inquiry may divert the time and attention of our management from normal business operations.

Regardless of the outcome of the inquiry, the publicity surrounding the inquiry and the potential risks associated with the inquiry could negatively impact the perception of our company by investors, customers, and others.

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Research courtesy of ethiXbase.

Article originally appeared on The FCPA Blog (http://www.fcpablog.com/).
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