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Park-Ohio Industries warns about ‘zombie’ FCPA investigation

An American manufacturing company said last week it will stop updating disclosures about an FCPA investigation the SEC hasn't commented on for five years.

Cleveland-based Park-Ohio Industries, Inc. said in a securities filing that it responded to a subpoena from the SEC in 2013.

The subpoena asked for information about a third-party payment to a foreign tax official made on behalf of the company in late 2007 that "implicate[d] the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act."

Last week Park-Ohio said in an SEC filing first posted by FCPA Tracker that it hasn't heard anything further from the SEC since 2014 and does "not expect to hear anything further from it."

The company said it plans to continue cooperating with the SEC and the DOJ (which opened a criminal investigation into a third party).

But "unless circumstances change," the company said, it does "not plan on providing any future disclosure regarding this matter."

Park-Ohio's first disclosure about the FCPA investigation was in November 2013. The company has included similarly worded updates about the investigation in at least 18 SEC filings since then, according to FCPA Tracker.

Park-Ohio has about 6,000 employees worldwide. Revenues in 2016 were $1.3 billion.

The company may be the first issuer to warn that it will stop making disclosures about a pending but apparently dormant "zombie" FCPA investigation.


Richard L. Cassin is editor at large of the FCPA Blog.