The Law Offices of Daniel J. Hurson, LLC
Washington Dc202-530-1230 Maryland443-458-5628

Telia, Embraer--more big reward FCPA cases

Qualified/Selective Representation

I continue to think the FCPA is the place to go to find potentially large whistleblower awards. I have written about this before, see my articles list. The fact is that these cases are not that hard to find if you are in a company that has lots of so-called "agents" representing the company in far flung places where bribery is common. Your firm may be using such a shadowy person about whom rumors abound. Maybe other companies are using them also. You don't really have to have hard evidence that they are passing on bribes--let the SEC lawyers find that. Embraer just paid $205 million to settle FCPA charges with the DOJ and SEC. It bribed officials in multiple countries, and made more than $83 million from the bribes. This is a nice feature of FCPA settlements, the penalty and disgorgement can be based on the value of the contracts awarded, regardless of the size of the bribes. The SEC disgorgement tab, $98 million, was one of the largest ever.

The Telia case, when it hits, could be monumental. The Swedish telcom company has reserved $1.45 billion as its current "best estimate" of the financial sanctions it could pay to reach a global settlement. The bribes, which the company has admitted to, involve entry into the Uzbek telecom market. Ironically, the governments of Sweden and Finland are the biggest shareholders. Earlier this year Amsterdam-based VimpelCom paid $795 million to resolve U.S. and Dutch charges regarding bribery of an Uzbek official. 

So, particularly if you work for a company, telecom, oil and gas, power, mining, transportation, construction, that does a lot of work for government controlled entities, keep on the lookout for those payoffs! Look for new avenues of bribery, such as payments to service providers controlled by government officials. One FCAP whistleblower award should set you free.