FCPA Potpourri: Catching Up with FCPA Enforcement

Michael Volkov
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The Volkov Law Group

While we wait for the coming FCPA enforcement storm, DOJ and the SEC have quietly continued to rack up and resolve several enforcement actions. Here is short and sweet review of many of these actions:

Luis Enrique Martinelli, son of the former Panama President, was recently presented in federal court in Brooklyn after the U.S. finally secured his extradition from Guatemala. Luis Enrique Martinelli sought to evade prosecution by secretly, crossing borders in order to evade apprehension. His brother, Ricardo Alberto Martinelle, is still being held in Guatemala, awaiting extradition to the United States. Luis Enrique Recently, Martinelli has plead guilty to FCPA charges arising from the Odebrecht FCPA enforcement action. Luis and Ricardo are charged with laundering more than $28 million in bribery payments made by Odebrecht to their father, the then President of Panama.

Frederick Cushmore, the former VP and head of International Sales at Corsa Coal Corporation, has plead guilty to FCPA conspiracy arising out of his sales activities with Al Nasr Company for Coke and Chemicals, which is an Egyptian state-owned entity.

Between 2016 and 2020, Al Nasr purchased coal from Corsa Coal on approximately 13 occasions for a total of approximately $143 million. Cushmore negotiated the terms of Corsa’s coal shipments to Al Nasr and dealt directly with Agent A and a second company, Company 2. Agent A was an Egyptian national who controlled Company 2, an Egyptian business. Corsa paid Agent A approximately $4.8 million in commissions for the coal sold to Al Nasr, and knowingly made bribe payments to an Al Nasr senior executive and other Egyptian government officials. Cushmore and Agent A used encrypted messaging service to arrange the bribery payments. Cusmore paid the bribes to secure long-term contracts and obtain inside, non-public information about competitive bids for contracts with Al Nasr.

Debra Parris, a Texas woman and program manager at an Ohio international adoption agency, plead guilty in Ohio federal court to two schemes: (1) FCPA conspiracy for making bribery payments to Ugandan officials to arrange adoptions of Ugandan and Polish children; and (2) conspiracy to defraud in connection with a scheme involving Polish children.

In the first scheme, Parris arranged bribery payments to (a) probation officers intended to ensure favorable probation reports; (b) court registrars to influence the assignment of particular cases to “adoption-friendly” judges; and (c) High Court judges to issue favorable guardianship orders for the adoption agency’s clients. Parris acknowledged that she continued to direct the adoption agency’s clients to work with co-defendant, Dorah Mirembe, after learning that Mirembe provided false information to the U.S. State Department to secure visa applications for the children.

In the second scheme, Parris and co-defendant Margaret Cole, transferred a Polish child to Parris’ relatives when a client informed Parris that they would not take the child. Parris’ relatives were not eligible for intercountry adoption. After the child was injured and hospitalized, Parris and Cole concealed their conduct from the U.S. State Department to continue profiting from the arranged adoptions.

Cole is scheduled for trial on February 7, 2022.

Five Individuals were indicted by a grand jury in the Southern District of Florida on money laundering charges in relation to an alleged bribery scheme involving contracts to provide food and medicine in Venezuela. The five individuals include: Alvaro Pulido Vargas, aka German Enrique Rubio Salas, aka Cuchi of Colombia; Jose Gregorio Vielma-Mora, of Venezuela; Emmanuel Rubio Gonzalez, of Colombia; Carlos Rolando Lizcano Manrique, of Colombia; and Ana Guillermo Luis, of Venezuela.

The bribery scheme centered on obtaining inflated contracts through Comite’ Local de Abastecimiento y Producción (CLAP), a Venezuelan state-owned food and medicine distribution program in Venezuela laundered proceeds of an illegal bribery scheme from bank accounts in Antigua, United Arab Emirates to and through other accounts in the United States. The defendants obtained contracts with Venezuelan government entities to import and distribute boxes of food and medicine through CLAP by paying bribes to government officials, including Vielma-Mora. The defendants (and co-conspirators) inflated the costs of the contracts to pay bribes and enrich themselves. The defendants earned approximately $1.6 billion from Venezuela and transferred approximately $180 million through the United States.

DISCLAIMER: Because of the generality of this update, the information provided herein may not be applicable in all situations and should not be acted upon without specific legal advice based on particular situations.

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