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SBM Offshore N.V. signs five party $340M leniency agreement to resolve Petrobras bribery allegations in Brazil

SBM Offshore N.V. has reached a $340M settlement with both criminal and administrative prosecutors in Brazil to resolve allegations of bribery relating to the Petrobras scandal, the first deal of its kind in Brazil and a...more

A Global Corruption Crackdown

An interview on CNBC's Power Lunch (April 1, 2016), where I exchange views with Frank Vogl, Co-founder Transparency Intl and the Partnership for Transparency Fund, and author of "Waging War on Corruption - Inside the movement...more

From 20 Years to Zero in Six Trial Days

As widely reported in the national media, Quinn Emanuel achieved a stunning outcome in the trial of our client, Joseph Sigelman, the co-founder and former Co-CEO of a Colombian oil company called PetroTiger. When trial began on June 2, 2015 in federal district court in New Jersey, Sigelman faced more than twenty years in prison and multi-million dollar penalties on multiple counts of bribery, receiving kickbacks, money laundering and wire fraud. After less than two weeks of a trial projected to last six weeks, the Government dropped five and a half of the six counts, including all of the most serious ones, and agreed to a deal that got Sigelman a sentence of probation with no jail time and financial penalties only a small fraction of what was originally sought by the Government.more

Update on Petrobas Scandal – Recent Arrests of Construction Company Executives

The sprawling Petrobas corruption scandal continues to grow and stretch across Brazil’s political and economic landscape. Prosecutors handling the case continue to reach new targets and arrest more individuals who profited from the corruption schemes.more

Texas Supreme Court: Companies Shielded from Defamation Claims for Statements in Internal Investigation Reports

Last week, the Texas Supreme Court joined the majority of jurisdictions in holding that a company enjoys an absolute privilege when providing the Department of Justice (DOJ) with an internal investigation report containing statements later alleged by an employee to be defamatory. The decision in Shell Oil Co. v. Writt, __S.W.3d__ (Tex. 2015) should provide Texas companies comfort that cooperating with regulatory and law enforcement agencies will not expose them to liability for defamation.more

Schlumberger and PayPal Settlements Reinforce Breadth of Sanctions Compliance Challenges

Last week, U.S. authorities settled criminal charges against a subsidiary of Schlumberger Ltd. and civil claims against PayPal, Inc. Federal authorities alleged that these companies violated U.S. embargoes and other economic sanctions.more

Schlumberger Faces More Than $232.7 Million in Penalties and Pleads Guilty to Criminal Charges for Violations of U.S. Sanctions

On March 25, 2015, Schlumberger Oilfield Holdings, Ltd. (“SOHL”), a wholly owned subsidiary of Schlumberger Ltd., the world’s largest oil-field services company (collectively “Schlumberger”), agreed to plead guilty to criminal charges, enter into a plea agreement, and pay $232.7 million in penalties for willfully facilitating illegal transactions and engaging in trade with Iran and Sudan. The charges were brought under the International Emergency Economic Powers Act (“IEEPA”), 50 U.S.C. § 1705, which makes it a crime to willfully commit, attempt, or cause a violation of any regulations issued pursuant to IEEPA. In this case, charges included violations of the Iranian Transaction Regulations, now known as the Iranian Transactions and Sanctions Regulations, and the Sudanese Sanctions Regulations, both issued pursuant to IEEPA.more

"Brazil: Recent Corruption Scandals Offer First Test of Brazilian Anti-Corruption Act"

As in China, in 2014, authorities in Brazil significantly increased investigations and enforcement actions. Brazilian headlines recently have been dominated by the corruption scandal involving Petrobras (Brazil’s state-run, U.S.-listed energy company) and numerous Brazilian politicians and companies. The Petrobras case centers on the alleged granting of large contracts by certain senior Petrobras managers to Brazilian companies at inflated costs in exchange for "commissions" later transferred to political parties, politicians and others. more

Oil, Gas and Compliance: The ‘Deep Blue Sea’ of Corruption

In Thieves of State, author Sarah Chayes (part two of my interview with Sarah will appear next week) defines the ‘resource curse,’ as where “valuable raw materials are discovered in a country lacking robust institutional safeguards, and the “rents” these resources produce rupture any contract between rulers and ruled.” more

SHE Matters - Winter 2014/2015

In This Issue: - Fee For Intervention – Is It Set To Stay? - How To Protect Brand Reputation And Sales From The Risks Associated With A Product Recall - Review Of The Proposed Changes In The Sentencing Of Health And Safety Offences - Changes To Fines In The Magistrates Court And The Impact On Corporate Defendants - Wildlife Law Review - Consultation On Permitting Charges - Clearing The Air: The European Court’s Landmark Air Quality Judgment? - In Brief: Air Quality Becoming Top Of Agendas - Excerpt from Wildlife Law Review: Wildlife protection and the sustainable management of natural heritage have increasingly become key policy aims for the Government. However, it is recognised by the Government that the legal framework for wildlife management is currently unnecessarily complicated, frequently contradictory and unduly prescriptive. The law therefore creates barriers to effective wildlife management, including the efficient implementation and enforcement of Government policy. Therefore in March 2012, the Department for the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (“DEFRA”) asked the Law Commission to review wildlife law in England and Wales as part of its 11th programme of law reform. This included a review of the law relating to conservation, control, protection and exploitation of wildlife in England and Wales. Please see full publication below for more information. more

Red Notice Newsletter - September 2014

Welcome to the September 2014 edition of Red Notice, a publication of Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld LLP. This month on the anticorruption front, a Chinese branch of a multinational pharmaceutical company receives a record fine for bribery; a Russian subsidiary of a global IT company pleads guilty to Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA) violations; a Kentucky cable manufacturer investigates potential FCPA offenses in four foreign countries; the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) and U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) drop their probe of a Minnesota-based technology company; and foreign anticorruption efforts remain at the forefront with Italian prosecutors investigating a major oil conglomerate, while a U.K. court affirms two bribery convictions.more

Red Notice Newsletter - August 2014

Welcome to the August 2014 edition of Red Notice, a publication of Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld LLP. This month on the anticorruption front, the former CEO of an aviation company pleads guilty to participating in an alleged bribery scheme in Latin America; a French citizen receives a two-year prison sentence for attempts to obstruct a federal Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA) investigation; the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) ends their probe of drilling company with a declination to bring any charges; and the United Kingdom’s anticorruption body concludes a bribery prosecution with the sentencing of four former company executives.more

Recent UK Proposals Emphasise Importance of REMIT Compliance for Energy Firms

Two recent actions demonstrate the United Kingdom’s (“UK”) continuing commitment to enforcing the European energy laws and the need for vigorous compliance efforts by market participants. Last month, the Office of Gas and Electricity Markets (“Ofgem”) published an open letter raising concerns as to market participants’ compliance with the required disclosure of inside information under the Regulation on Wholesale Energy Market Integrity and Transparency (“REMIT”).more

Na-Nu Na-Nu – Final Report to Ork From Mork – Information from FCPA Inquiries

A Venezuelan company, Derwick Associates (Derwick), are under investigation by the Department of Justice (DOJ) and Manhattan District Attorney’s office. Derwick was reported to have been “awarded hundreds of millions of dollars in contracts in little more than a year to build power plants in Venezuela, shortly before the country’s power grid began to sputter in 2009”.more

Watergate is Not Just a Hotel – Corporate Suitors for Alstom

Today is the anniversary of an event that can truly be said to have changed the world; although certainly not in the manner intended by its planners, sponsors or participants. Today is the anniversary of the 1972 Watergate Break-In.more

Prosecuting a ''Faceless'' Corporation - Indictment of a Company

On Sept. 9, 2010, a pipeline running through a residential neighborhood in San Bruno, Calif., ruptured, permitting natural gas to escape into the air. The gas ultimately ignited, resulting in an explosion and a fire that killed eight people and injured 58 others. The fire also ravaged the neighborhood, damaging 108 homes, 38 of which were completely destroyed. Originally published in The Legal Intelligencer on April 16, 2014more

Corporate Criminal Liability: Legal Causation and the Application of Absolute Vicarious Liability in the XTO Energy Prosecution

In this high-profile criminal prosecution of XTO Energy by the Pennsylvania Office of Attorney General, the scope of corporate criminal liability for the actions of third parties is likely to take center stage later this year in the Pennsylvania state courts. more

New Anti-Corruption Law to Take Effect in Brazil

With the continued ongoing work to exploit the discoveries in the Lula (Tupi) field and the recently announced 2013 subsalt strike in the Campos and Santos basins off Brazil's southern coast, oil and gas exploration and production companies will continue active efforts to participate in the development of these resources. Oil field services providers, such as geophysical contractors, air transport providers and oilfield software purveyors will similarly continue to seek opportunities arising out of these developments. However, the international spotlight has begun to shine more brightly on Brazil over the past year, mainly due to the Brazil's upcoming role as host of the 2014 FIFA World Cup™ and the Rio 2016™ Summer Olympics, and the international scrutiny is bringing with it changes in Brazil's legal climate. more

Concurrent Resolution of FCPA, Export Controls and Sanctions Violations Demonstrates Close Cooperation of Federal Agencies

On November 26, the Department of Justice (DOJ) and the Securities and Exchange Commission announced an agreement with three subsidiaries of Swiss oil services company Weatherford International Ltd. to settle Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA) and criminal export violations under the International Emergency Economic Powers Act and the Trading with the Enemy Act. The settlements collectively represent the most significant resolutions to date in which FCPA, export controls and sanctions violations have been concurrently resolved, and they also mark the first time that foreign trade control violations have been resolved through a settlement structure common in FCPA cases.more

UK Bribery: Construction in the Cross-Hairs

The UK’s Serious Fraud Office has made clear that its anti-bribery investigations are focussed on two industries in particular: construction and energy. Construction firms especially are under-prepared for the risks which this new approach will bring, and need to take action quickly.more

SFO Brings First Bribery Act Charges in the UK - What Does This Mean for Your Company?

The Serious Fraud Office (“SFO”) brought fraud related charges against three directors and one employee of Sustainable AgroEnergy plc (“SAE”), a subsidiary of Sustainable Growth Group (“SSG”) on 14 August 2013, as part of a wider investigation into an alleged £23 million “bio fuel” investment fraud.more

Dog Bite Defense No. 4 And The Defense Of An FCPA Claim

As most readers of this blog know, I am a recovering trial lawyer. I almost always acted as defense counsel for corporations in my trial lawyer career.more

Significant FCPA Enforcement Actions In 2013 – Individuals

77 years – that is how long Great Britain went without a native son winning the Men’s Singles title at Wimbledon.more

Red Notice: A Monthly Update on Global Investigations and Prosecutions - June 2013

Welcome to the June 2013 edition of Red Notice, a publication of Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld LLP. In this month’s edition, a French energy giant agrees to one of the most expensive Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA) settlements in history, U.S. executives face charges for an alleged bribery conspiracy involving a Venezuelan official, and a major pharmaceutical firm faces new bribery allegations in China. In export control and sanctions enforcement news, a professional tennis association, an oil company and several companies involved in the petrochemical industry all get in hot water for doing business related to Iran; and a Chinese national pleads guilty for his attempt to export sensitive technology to China. In export law developments, the government loosens restrictions on the export of items to facilitate reconstruction efforts in Syria and defense articles to Lybia, issues a new General License authorizing exports of software and hardware to Iran for personal communications, and continues its export control reform initiative by proposing a revised definition of "defense services" and the removal of satellites and related articles on the U.S. Munitions List (USML).more

Mr. Bourke Heads To Jail – If Only He Had A Compliance Officer At The Table

After years of litigation and twists and turns, Mr. Bourke finally entered jail to serve his one year and one day sentence. more

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