FCPA 2016 Year in Review
In 2016, a year after the sharp decrease in both the number and size of corporate FCPA resolutions, the DOJ's and SEC's enforcement activity rebounded, as reflected by a record number of corporate FCPA resolutions and the collection of a record $2.43 billion in total fines and penalties. This banner year was driven by the resolution of several multijurisdictional corruption investigations, including the largest global corruption case in history.
There were six other key highlights from 2016 FCPA enforcement:
- The DOJ announced only one enforcement action against an individual in connection with its 11 corporate resolutions, notwithstanding the issuance of the Yates Memo in September 2015. The SEC, meanwhile, settled eight individual enforcement actions, all of which were against current or former employees of a company that entered into a related corporate FCPA resolution with the SEC.
- A new DOJ initiative, and similar SEC policy pronouncements, that offer incentives to companies that self-disclose FCPA violations, cooperate with the resulting investigations, and remediate compliance issues.
- A record year of SEC whistleblower awards, including the first-ever FCPA-related award, and an enforcement action against a company that allegedly sought to chill an FCPA whistleblower.
- Developments in FCPA-related civil litigation, including subjecting disgorgement to a five-year statute of limitations in SEC proceedings and two rulings regarding the scope of FCPA jurisdiction against foreign nationals.
- Intensified DOJ and SEC cooperation with international anticorruption regulators and an increase in anticorruption activity outside the United States.
- Possible changes in FCPA enforcement following the election of Donald J. Trump as President of the United States.