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The V&E Report
Insights in Government Enforcement and Investigations

Second Circuit Considers Reach of Bribery Laws Beyond U.S.

On November 7, 2019, a Second Circuit panel1 heard oral argument on whether the use of United States wire services in effecting a bribery scheme is enough, without more, to pull defendants within the scope of U.S. criminal honest-services wire fraud statutes.2 Appellants Juan Angel Napout, the former president of the South American soccer confederation known as CONMEBOL, and Jose Maria Marin, the former president of the Brazilian soccer federation known as the Brazilian Football Confederation, were convicted of wire fraud and racketeering in 2017, where after a six-week trial, the jury found that they had fraudulently awarded broadcast and media rights to international soccer tournaments to officials in Paraguay, Argentina, and Brazil.

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DOJ’s FCPA Reach Over Foreign “Agents”

The Criminal Information against two former executives of Unaoil, Inc. was unsealed on October 30, 2019, laying out the U.S. government’s case against them for facilitating bribes on behalf of companies in foreign countries in exchange for oil and gas contracts.1 Former CEO Cyrus Ahsani and former COO Saman Ahsani, both citizens of the United Kingdom, pled guilty to conspiracy to violate the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (“FCPA”), 15 U.S.C. § 78dd-1 et seq.2

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U.K.’s SFO Recognizes Expectation that Compliance Functions Will be Insulated from Routine Cost Cutting Pressures

Sarah Lawson, the General Counsel of the U.K.’s Serious Fraud Office (“SFO”), recently emphasized that corporate compliance functions must be well resourced and that the SFO expects such programs should be insulated from routine cost-cutting pressures. This expectation parallels the U.S. Department of Justice (“DOJ”)’s long-standing focus on corporate compliance programs and its own recent focus on ensuring that compliance functions are provided with sufficient resources.

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Commodities in the Crosshairs: CFTC Joins DOJ and the SEC to Target Commodity Traders for Corrupt Practices Abroad

The U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission (“CFTC”) is entering the fight against foreign bribery and corruption. That is the clear message from recent announcements as the CFTC has made clear that it wants to join the U.S. Department of Justice (“DOJ”), the Securities and Exchange Commission (“SEC”) and foreign authorities by targeting commodity firms that commit corrupt practices outside the U.S.

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Walmart Doesn’t “Save Money,” But It May “Live Better” After DOJ Agrees to Significant Concessions to Narrow Scope of its Corporate Monitorship

In a significant departure from previous practice, the Department of Justice (“DOJ”) imposed a corporate monitor on a company even after it engaged in extensive remedial measures and enhanced its compliance functions, but DOJ also agreed to narrow the scope, obligations and term of the corporate monitorship in what is the most meaningful example yet of how DOJ intends to implement its new policy on corporate monitors.

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DENIED: SCOTUS Denies Cert. in Mueller’s Mystery Case

On Monday, March 25, 2019, in a brief order without any dissents, the Supreme Court denied certiorari in In re Grand Jury Subpoena,1 the case also known as the “Mueller Mystery Case” because the name of the party involved remains under seal by the courts. The Supreme Court’s order comes one day after Attorney General William Barr submitted his summary of the main conclusions from Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 election.

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