FCPA Enforcement Continues to be a Serious Issue (For Companies and Their Officers)

On June 28, 2010, the Securities and Exchange Commission (“SEC”) announced yet another settlement under the US Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (“FCPA”), this time with Paris-based Technip SA, a former joint venture partner of Halliburton. The company is paying out almost $350 million in civil and criminal fines and penalties, part of a nearly $1 billion combined settlement involving Halliburton and another joint venture partner. In addition, Technip will have to hire a corporate monitor which must be approved by the US Department of Justice (“DOJ”) and retained for 2 years. Technip is subject to the FCPA because its American Depository Receipts (ADRs) traded on the New York Stock Exchange during the relevant time period.

Among other things, the SEC alleged that Technip’s books and records contained false information and that it failed to conduct adequate due diligence before retaining agents to assist in the procurement of certain Nigerian contracts, agents who were bribing Nigerian government officials. This case reflects that FCPA violations continue to be a top enforcement priority at the SEC and the US Department of Justice (“DOJ”) and that these cases continue to feature charges of recordkeeping violations in addition to bribery charges.

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