Here are some recent compliance-related stories that caught my eye:
FIFA, the World Cup Selection and the FCPA by Tom Fox
I was very interested in the allegations of bribery and corruption leveled at FIFA during the selection process, known, these days, as the “world’s richest and most influential single-sport ruling body”. As has been reported extensively throughout the world, two members of FIFA’s 24 member executive committee were suspended for allegedly offering their votes to determine which countries would host the 2018 and 2022 World Cups. Both men were caught on videotape by the UK Sunday Times asking for specific sums of money, apparently in exchange for their votes.
Compliance Community to DoJ: More Info Please by Melissa Aguilar in Compliance Week
Members of the compliance and ethics profession are pushing the U.S Department of Justice to provide more information about when and how it gives credit to organizations for ethics and compliance programs in its enforcement actions.
SEC’s Sovereign Wealth Fund Probe Is More Than Name Suggests by Joe Palazzolo in WSJ.com’s Corruption Currents
The Securities and Exchange Commission’s foreign bribery probe of banks and private-equity firms is looking beyond their dealings with sovereign-wealth funds to other types of sovereign investment, said a lawyer familiar with the investigation. The lawyer said the SEC has made it clear that investigators are interested in a broader set of data than that associated with traditional sovereign-wealth funds, including information on dealings with national pension funds.
Yet another FCPA enforcement action raises the issue of whether the FCPA’s “obtain or retain business” element means anything anymore or whether the FCPA, contrary to Congressional intent, has morphed into an all-purpose corporate ethics statute and – in a game of chicken – companies opt to settle rather than mount a legal defense. Yesterday, Tyson Foods, one of the world’s largest processors of chicken and other food items, agreed to resolve an FCPA enforcement action focused on payments to Mexican veterinarians (and their no-show wives) responsible for certifying product for export.