Five FCPA Corporate Cases One Year After Yates Memo and Zero Individual Charges

Since the Yates memo was released one year ago this week, the Department of Justice has brought five corporate Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA) enforcement actions – against PTC, VimpelCom, Olympus Latin America, BK Medical (Analogic), and LAN Airlines.

Sally Yates

Sally Yates

None of the enforcement actions have resulted in any Department of Justice charges against company employees.

That’s according to an analysis by Southern Illinois University Law Professor Mike Koehler.

In November 2015, Deputy Attorney General Sally Yates defended her memo.

“The revised factors [in the Yates Memo] now emphasize the primacy in any corporate case of holding individual wrongdoers accountable and list a variety of steps that prosecutors are expected to take to maximize the opportunity to achieve that goal,” Yates said.

Koehler said that since the Yates memo was released, the Department has announced two core enforcement actions involving individuals.

In late 2015, the Department brought FCPA charges against Roberto Rincon and Abraham Shiera for alleged improper business practices with officials at Petroleos de Venezuela S.A..

In early 2016, the Department unsealed additional FCPA charges in the same core action against Moises Millan, Koehler said.

The only other individual FCPA enforcement action was the recently announced action against Samuel Mebiame, a Gabonese national connected to Och-Ziff, Koehler said.

“If 2016 ended today – which of course it does not – and there remains only two Department individual FCPA enforcement actions in 2016, it would be the lowest number of Department individual FCPA enforcement actions since 2004,” Koehler said.


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