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Julie DiMauro Contributing Editor

Thomas Fox Contributing Editor

Marc Alain Bohn Contributing Editor

Bill Waite Contributing Editor

Shruti J. Shah Contributing Editor

Russell A. Stamets Contributing Editor

Richard Bistrong Contributing Editor 

Eric Carlson Contributing Editor

Bill Steinman Contributing Editor

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Wednesday
Sep242014

General Cable reports investigation of Angola, Thailand, India payments

Kentucky-based General Cable Corporation said in an SEC filing Monday that it is investigating "certain commission payments involving sales to customers" in Angola, and the way the payments were reflected in the company's books and records. Payments to agents in Thailand and India are also being investigated and "may have implications under the FCPA," the company said.

"We have determined at this time that certain employees in our Portugal and Angola subsidiaries directly and indirectly made payments at various times from 2002 through 2013 to officials of Angola government-owned public utilities that raise concerns under the FCPA and possibly under the laws of other jurisdictions," the company said.

"We also have been reviewing, with the assistance of external counsel, our use and payment of agents in connection with our Thailand and India operations, which may have implications under the FCPA," it said.

General Cable said it has a new screening procedure for overseas sales agents.

"However, this screening process may not be effective in preventing future payments or other activities that may raise concerns under the FCPA or other laws," it said.

*     *     *

Here's the FCPA disclosure from General Cable Corporation's Form 8-K filed September 22, 2014:

We have been reviewing, with the assistance of external counsel, certain commission payments involving sales to customers of our subsidiary in Angola. The review has focused upon payment practices with respect to employees of public utility companies, use of agents in connection with such payment practices, and the manner in which the payments were reflected on our books and records. We have determined at this time that certain employees in our Portugal and Angola subsidiaries directly and indirectly made payments at various times from 2002 through 2013 to officials of Angola government-owned public utilities that raise concerns under the FCPA and possibly under the laws of other jurisdictions.

We also have been reviewing, with the assistance of external counsel, our use and payment of agents in connection with our Thailand and India operations, which may have implications under the FCPA.

We have voluntarily disclosed these matters to the SEC and the United States Department of Justice (“DOJ”) and have provided them with additional information at their request. The SEC and DOJ inquiries into these matters are ongoing. We continue to cooperate with the DOJ and the SEC with respect to these matters.

We are implementing a screening process relating to sales agents that we use outside of the United States, including, among other things, a review of the agreements under which they were retained and a risk-based assessment of such agents to determine the scope of due diligence measures to be performed by a third-party investigative firm. However, this screening process may not be effective in preventing future payments or other activities that may raise concerns under the FCPA or other laws.

At this time, we are unable to predict the nature of any action that may be taken by the DOJ or SEC or any remedies these agencies may pursue as a result of such actions. Any determination that our operations or activities are not in compliance with existing laws or regulations could result in the imposition of substantial fines, civil and criminal penalties, and equitable remedies, including disgorgement and injunctive relief. Because our review regarding commission payment practices and our use and payment of agents described above is ongoing, we are unable to predict its duration, scope, results, or consequences.

Dispositions of these types of matters can result in modifications to business practices and compliance programs, and in some cases the appointment of a monitor to review future business and practices with the objective of effecting compliance with the FCPA and other applicable laws.

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Richard L. Cassin is the publisher and editor of the FCPA Blog. He can be contacted here.