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Clifford Chance

Clifford Chance


The Asia Pacific top ten FCPA enforcement actions of 2013: A statistical anomaly

16 January 2014

Surprisingly, the number of FCPA resolutions that actually involved the Asia Pacific region sharply declined in 2013, against trend and in apparent contradiction of ubiquitous enforcement attention and coverage. In recent years, at least half of the corporate Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA) settlement agreements involved business operations in Asia. Extensive discussions of corrupt travel agencies and "princeling" programs in China have dominated the anti-corruption news in 2013. Most Asia Pacific countries continue to rank in the bottom half of Transparency International's Perception Corruption Index. And yet, only one of eight settlements with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) and only three of eleven Department of Justice (DOJ) resolutions involved conduct in Asia Pacific. This statistically anomalous year forces us to look beyond the numbers as it is unlikely to signal a downward trend in light of pending regional investigations.  Accordingly, included in this discussion are the non-bribery FCPA cases, several notable declinations, key prosecutions of individuals, and a look at some pending investigations.

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