Top Ten International Anti-Corruption Developments for June 2015

Morrison & Foerster LLP

In order to provide an overview for busy in-house counsel and compliance professionals, we summarize below some of the most important international anti-corruption developments in the past month with links to primary resources. It was another busy month with a rare FCPA trial ending in a mid-trial guilty plea on favorable terms to the defendant, DOJ’s first corporate resolution of the year, a pair of SEC declinations, and a variety of other anti-corruption developments in the U.S. and abroad. Here is our June 2015 Top Ten list:

1. Sigelman FCPA Trial Ends in Guilty Plea, Probation, and Corporate Declination. The highly-anticipated and closely watched Joseph Sigelman trial on conspiracy, money laundering, and FCPA charges began in the District of New Jersey on June 2, 2015—and ended abruptly on June 15, 2015, when Sigelman agreed to plead guilty to one count of conspiring to violate the FCPA. The next day, Sigelman was sentenced to three years of probation and ordered to pay $339,000 in fines and restitution. Sigelman was arrested in the Philippines on January 3, 2014, pursuant to a sealed complaint, repatriated to the United States several days later, and indicted in May 2015 for FCPA, wire fraud, and money laundering offenses. The indictment alleged that Sigelman, the former co-CEO of PetroTiger Ltd., a BVI-based oil services company with operations in Colombia, agreed to pay bribes to an official at Colombia’s national oil company, EcoPetrol, in exchange for that official’s assistance in securing approval for an oil services contract. Sigelman and his co-conspirators allegedly tried to disguise the bribes as consulting payments to the official’s wife but ultimately paid the bribes directly to the official. The indictment also alleged another, earlier scheme in which Sigelman himself received kickbacks in exchange for helping obtain more favorable terms for the sellers of a company that PetroTiger acquired. Two other former PetroTiger executives—former co-CEO Knut Hammarskjold and former General Counsel Gregory Weisman—pleaded guilty for conspiring to commit both schemes and agreed to cooperate against Sigelman.

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