The FCPA is fundamentally about change: in federal laws, in global attitudes, in corporate practices, and ultimately, in ourselves. I wanted my law school students to see that change happening, to feel it for themselves. And so I invited Richard Bistrong to speak.
Entries in Africa Sting Operation (8)
Richard Bistrong reads his emails: When ‘pajamas’ were prostitutes and ‘the Z’ was a brothel in Europe
Emails are a great window into what people are thinking and doing. They tell us a lot about attitudes toward life, business, and compliance. I had my own encounter with emails before testifying as a government witness in the Africa Sting cases.
Corrupt organizations expect employees to parrot one set of values, while at the same time understanding that the real priority is to subvert these values by paying bribes to win business, or looking the other way when issues arise. This mixed messaging creates a level of ambiguity, which you see clearly in the use of euphemism, code words and metaphors in many corruption cases.
Smith & Wesson said the DOJ has ended its FCPA investigation of the company and won't bring criminal charges, and that a civil settlement with the SEC is close.
As the New Year kicks into full swing, I decided to take a retrospective look at the last several years of individual FCPA enforcement actions. Looking through on a year-to-year basis, a not entirely surprising trend began to emerge: the number of men prosecuted by the Department of Justice for violations of the FCPA outnumbered women. What was shocking however was the immense disparity: Men made up an astounding 96.7% of all defendants since January 2008.
Here's what Massachusettss-based gun-maker Smith and Wesson said in its annual report (Form 10-Q) filed with the SEC on December 10:
The FBI's much heralded FCPA Unit had consisted of at least 12 agents working out of the Washington, D.C. field office since around 2008, with a full-time focus on FCPA cases.