The recently announced BNP sanctions settlement is remarkable in so many ways: the behavior is outrageous, the $9 billion criminal penalty is record-setting, and 13 employees were terminated. However, the most interesting part of the story may be the idea that the DOJ is exploring ways to use the forfeited funds to compensate individuals who may have been harmed by the sanctioned regimes of Sudan, Iran and Cuba.
Entries in Restitution (25)
BOTA was the first foundation established to restitute assets associated with an FCPA prosecution to victims of corruption. What were its key lessons that could be relevant to future foundations established for the same purpose?
The BOTA Foundation surpassed most of the expectations that its founders had for it. BOTA was able to efficiently and effectively return more than $115 million (the original $84 million associated with corruption plus accrued interest frozen Pictet and Cie Swiss bank account) to poor children, youth and their families.
Friends of the FCPA Blog -- Sandy Sierck and Nick Diamond, who represent the Socio-Economic Rights and Accountability Project in Nigeria -- have another good idea. For years, SERAP has been petitioning the DOJ and SEC to return enforcement revenues to the real victims of overseas corruption: the citizens of the corrupt governments. Their latest proposal is a slam dunk.
An Irvine, California woman was sentenced Friday to 37 months in federal prison for defrauding a group of Roman Catholic Sisters out of $285,000, which she misappropriated and spent on herself after promising to use the money to help the nuns buy a retirement home.
Financial crime in its various manifestations is the principal reason many societies around the world remain impoverished and subjected to the most dehumanizing conditions. It seems therefore befitting that those found guilty of financial crimes such as the theft of public resources face the most stringent penal sanctions. In fact, there have been calls, even here at the FCPA Blog, to have grand corruption classified as a crime against humanity pursuant to Article 7 of the Statute of Rome that establishes the International Criminal Court.
One of the benefits, apart from the foreign earnings, of London’s court clogging Russian litigation, has been the collation of principles relating to the English civil law of bribery which can be summarized as follows:
We’ve shown in the last two posts (here and here) how the Supplemental Transparency Project retains the punitive and deterrent effect of criminal penalties while still advancing the goals of international commerce. But what’s in it for the host countries, whose citizens are bribery’s true victims?
The second objection defendant corporations typically have to FCPA enforcement concerns the thorny problem of solicitation. Sure, some companies pay bribes aggressively and unreservedly. But others feel pressured to do it. They feel trapped, with no alternative, like they’re being extorted. But that’s no defense under the FCPA.
Corporations -- those that are subject to FCPA jurisdiction generally, and especially those who have already been named defendants in an enforcement action -- commonly have two objections to enforcement. The Supplemental Transparency Project can answer both.
Let’s be honest: Wal-Mart did not introduce bribery to Mexico, or anywhere else. Systemic bribery is a pervasive problem, far greater than any single company or enforcement action. And make no mistake -- the citizens of those countries generally will not justify this bribery on the basis of their “culture.” They would like to see it cleaned up.