Paul Block is an assistant regional director in the Securities and Exchange Commission’s FCPA Unit in Boston.
Block has been with the agency since at least 2004, online records show. In that time he has overseen some of the the regulator’s biggest foreign bribery cases.
Block worked on the SEC’s recent case against hedge fund Och-Ziff Capital Management, which agreed to pay US$412 in September 2016 to settle dual criminal and civil FCPA investigations. Och-Ziff's top executives, CEO Daniel Och and CFO Joel Frank were also sanctioned by the SEC, with Och agreeing to pay US$2.2 million. The SEC found the hedge fund used business partners to pay bribes to top government officials in Africa.
In February 2016, Block supervised the SEC’s case against Massachusetts-based technology company PTC Inc and its two Chinese subsidiaries over improper payments to Chinese officials. The company agreed to pay US$28 million to settle the US government’s parallel civil and criminal charges.
Block also supervised the SEC’s FCPA case against bank BNY Mellon, which was charged after an investigation into the bank’s use of internships to sons and daughters of prominent politicians in the Middle East. The bank paid US$14.8 million to settle charges in August 2015.
Block oversaw the SEC’s investigations of internet service provider Akamai Technologies and building products company Nortek, with whom the agency announced non-prosecution agreements on the same day in June 2016. Both companies, which received declinations from the DOJ under the FCPA pilot programme, were under investigation for potential FCPA violations by subsidiaries in China.
Akamai paid more than US$650,000 in disgorgement. Nortek paid nearly US$300,000 in disgorgement. The SEC highlighted that the companies had benefited from reporting possible FCPA violations “on their own initiative”.