The Securities and Exchange Commission Tuesday announced non-prosecution agreements (NPAs) with two unrelated companies for bribes foreign subsidiaries paid to Chinese officials.
Entries in Non-Prosecution Agreements (8)
Two China units of Massachusetts software company PTC Inc. entered into a non-prosecution agreement and paid a $14.5 million criminal penalty Tuesday to resolve a DOJ investigation into payments for recreational travel by Chinese government officials that violated the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act.
One of the oft-made criticisms regarding the Department of Justice (DOJ) around its enforcement of the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA) is its the use of Deferred Prosecution Agreements (DPAs) and Non-Prosecution Agreements (NPAs) somehow pervert the course of justice. Speaking from the perspective of a former in-house type, I have argued that corporations desire DPAs and NPAs because they bring certainty. Not only in ending an enforcement action but also in knowing your obligations going forward; they bring certainty in setting the fines and penalties to be paid for a FCPA violation. And, of course, if you enter into a DPA or NPA you bring your corporate client the certainty that you will not ‘Arthur Anderson’ your organization out of existence.
Some members of Congress are evidently concerned that corporate defendants are getting off the hook. Too many deferred- and non-prosecution agreements, and not enough criminal indictments.
In a special SEC filing, Ralph Lauren Corporation described its resolution Monday of FCPA offenses with the DOJ and SEC by the first-ever use of dual non-prosecution agreements.
Ralph Lauren Corporation will pay $1.6 million in combined penalties to the DOJ and SEC in exchange for unprecedented dual non-prosecution agreements after admitting its Argentina subsidiary paid bribes to government and customs officials.
Passing legislation instead of applying resources is always tempting for governments.