Friday Compliance Potpourri

Thomas Fox

Compliance Evangelist

It has continued to be quite a couple of weeks in the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA) world. Last week was the announcement of the long-awaited Walmart Inc. (Walmart) FCPA resolution. The pundits were out in force this week wrapping up what all it may mean. Mike Volkov, Matt Kelly, Jay Rosen, Jonathan Marks and myself all weighed in on the matter. Yet buried literally by the avalanche of Walmart news and commentary was the conviction by a Boston jury of two men in the Haitian bribery sting case for their violation of the FCPA.

According to a Department of Justice (DOJ) Press Release, Roger Richard Boncy, a dual US and Haitian citizen who resides in Madrid, Spain, and Joseph Baptiste were found guilty after a two-week jury trial before US District Judge Allison D. Burroughs of the District of Massachusetts of one count of conspiracy to violate the FCPA and the Travel Act. Baptiste was also convicted of one count of violating the Travel Act and one count of conspiracy to commit money laundering.  Boncy and Baptiste are scheduled to be sentenced by Judge Burroughs on Sept. 12, 2019. Assistant Attorney General Benczkowski said, “Richard Boncy and Joe Baptiste conspired to pay millions of dollars in bribes to Haitian officials to do business there”. “Today’s guilty verdict sends a strong message that those who use corrupt means to obtain unfair and illegal business advantages will be prosecuted to the fullest extent possible by the Department of Justice.”

This week we had the also long awaited TechnipFMC PLC FCPA enforcement action. It was unique in a couple of aspects. First, the company was a merger of two companies who were both under FCPA investigations for bribery and corruption in different jurisdictions. Second, Technip is a recidivist, having been a part of the first Halliburton FCPA enforcement action back in 2010. As usual, the FCPA Blogbroke the story. Kudos to Harry Cassin for keeping up the fine tradition of being the first to report a significant story to the FCPA and greater compliance community.

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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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