Asita Obeyesekere is a senior counsel for the FCPA unit of the US Securities and Exchange Commission in Washington, DC. He has been with the agency since at least 2004, according to online records.
Obeyesekere conducted an investigation into a group of friends who made more than US$500,000 in an insider trading ring. In a July 2014 complaint, the SEC alleged that Eric McPhail provided insider information about Massachusetts-based energy company American Superconductor Corporation to six of his golfing buddies. One of the defendants was Holland & Knight tax attorney Douglas Clapp. The SEC forced the group to return their allegedly ill-gotten gains with interest, and pay financial penalties of up to three times their gains.
In December 2014, Obeyesekere helped the SEC bring charges against Bruker Corporation, a global manufacturer of scientific instruments, which violated the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act. The agency found the company paid Chinese government officials to win business.
In February 2016, the SEC brought charges against US technology company PTC Inc, and its Chinese subsidiaries, for FCPA violations. Obeyesekere worked on the SEC’s investigation which found that two of the company’s subsidiaries made improper payments to Chinese officials.
He conducted investigations into potential FCPA violations at Massachusetts-based internet services provider Akamai Technologies and building products manufacturer Nortek, which both settled non-prosecution agreements with the agency in June 2016. The Justice Department issued parallel declination letters to the companies in the first resolutions to cite the FCPA pilot programme, which promised businesses that self-report misconduct either a 50% fine discount or a declination.