Anti-corruption enforcement in Latin America

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The past few years have seen a transformation in Latin America, where corruption has gone from business-as-usual to risky business. Public outrage has translated into government action, as authorities throughout the Americas have turned up the heat on individuals, companies and public officials who have benefited from corruption. The pressure has not only been local: while Latin American authorities have been increasing their own enforcement capabilities, the US Department of Justice (DOJ) and Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) have continued holding companies and individuals accountable for bribery in Latin America using the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA), the 1977 law that makes it a crime and a regulatory offence to bribe foreign government officials to obtain or retain business.1

This article highlights a number of recent trends and developments in anti-corruption enforcement activity by regulators in the US and Latin America. The first part examines US efforts to enforce the FCPA and to target corrupt practices more generally in Latin America; the second part looks at the corruption investigations – and anti-corruption sentiment – that have engulfed the region, and explores the push by Latin American governments to enforce their domestic anti-corruption laws.

Trends in FCPA enforcement in Latin America

We begin by looking at a number of trends in anti-bribery enforcement by US regulators, as implemented in Latin America.

Focus on individuals

In the past year, the SEC and DOJ have both emphasised individual liability for corporate misconduct. The Yates Memorandum, a DOJ policy document released in September 2015 (and later codified in the US Attorney’s Manual), requires prosecutors to focus on individual misconduct from the start of any investigation and limits eligibility for corporate cooperation credit to companies that share all relevant facts about individuals involved in corporate wrongdoing.2The SEC has also highlighted its commitment to holding individuals accountable whenever possible, and entered into its first deferred prosecution agreement (DPA) with an individual in an FCPA case in February 2016.3 (The SEC entered into its first non-prosecution agreement (NPA) with an individual in 2014 in an insider trading case,4 four years after the SEC added NPAs and DPAs to its enforcement arsenal.5)

While it is perhaps too soon to see the effects of the Yates Memorandum, there have been several enforcement actions against individuals for misconduct in Latin America since our last instalment in 2015:6

  • Vicente Garcia pleaded guilty in August 2015 to conspiring to violate the anti-bribery and accounting provisions of the FCPA. He admitted to participating in a scheme to bribe three senior government officials in Panama in exchange for $3.7 million in sales, and to using sham contracts and false invoices to hide the bribery.7 Garcia, a US citizen and former VP of SAP SE (responsible for SAP’s sales in Latin America), was sentenced to 22 months in prison and settled with the SEC for US$92,395.8 Garcia’s employer, SAP, settled with the SEC for US$3.7 million for having deficient internal controls that allowed Garcia to pay bribes and take kickbacks, and for falsely recording the payments as legitimate discounts in the company’s books and records.9 The SEC’s order acknowledged SAP’s cooperation, specifically citing the company’s help in securing an interview with Garcia without alerting him to the SEC’s investigation into his conduct.10
  • Andres Truppel, the former CFO of Siemens SA – Argentina, pleaded guilty in September 2015 to conspiring to violate the FCPA and to commit wire fraud for his involvement in paying tens of millions of dollars in bribes to officials in Argentina to obtain a billion-dollar contract to create national identity cards in 1998.11According to the SEC’s 2011 complaint against him and six other defendants, Truppel participated in meetings in Miami and New York in which bribes to officials in Argentina were negotiated and promised, and some of the bribes were paid via bank accounts in the United States.12 The investigation of Siemens (into misconduct in Argentina and a number of other countries) had previously led to the company’s record-breaking $800 million FCPA settlement in 2008.13
  • Ignacio Cueto Plaza, the former CEO of LAN Airlines, settled with the SEC in February 2016 for violating the accounting provisions of the FCPA,14 and agreed to pay US$75,000.15 (Prior to its merger with TAM SA in 2012, LAN’s stock was traded on the New York Stock Exchange, making it subject to US jurisdiction. The joint company, LATAM Airlines Group SA, entered into a DPA with the DOJ and reached a settlement with the SEC in July 2016 for related conduct.16) Cueto’s cease-and-desist order from the SEC stated that he approved US$1.15 million in payments to a third-party consultant to resolve union disputes, without conducting any due diligence on the third party and with the understanding that some portion of the payment would be paid to union officials.17
  • Two former executives of the now-shuttered Wall Street broker-dealer Direct Access Partners, Tomas Clarke and Ernesto Lujan, as well as Jose Alejandro Hurtado, their alleged intermediary with Venezuelan officials, were sentenced to prison time (ranging from two to three years) in December 2015 after pleading guilty to FCPA, money laundering and other charges in 2013.18 The charges stemmed from their involvement in bribing an official at a state-owned bank in Venezuela. Two other executives had been sentenced to four years in prison earlier in 2015, and seven individuals (including those listed here) settled related fraud charges with the SEC in April 2016.19
  • Abraham Jose Shiera Bastidas and Roberto Enrique Rincon Fernandez, two US-based businessmen, pleaded guilty in March and June 2016, respectively, to conspiracy, bribery and other charges after they were arrested in December 2015 on an 18-count indictment. According to their admissions, Shiera and Rincon paid bribes to officials of Venezuela’s state gas and oil company, PDVSA, to win lucrative energy contracts. Shiera’s former employee, Texas-based Moises Abraham Millan Escobar, also pleaded guilty to conspiracy to violate the FCPA, and three of the former PDVSA officials involved pleaded guilty to laundering the bribe payments they received.20

Encouraging cooperation

While self-disclosure of misconduct is not required by law in the US, the government has long extolled the virtues of voluntary self-reporting and cooperating with government investigations. In the past year both the SEC and the DOJ have, for the first time, made explicit the potential benefits available to those that promptly and voluntarily share findings of misconduct with the government: in November 2015 the SEC announced that it would limit eligibility for DPAs and NPAs in FCPA cases to companies that self-disclose,21 and in April 2016 the DOJ released an FCPA Pilot Program quantifying eligibility for penalty reductions below the US Sentencing Guidelines fine ranges for companies that voluntarily self-disclose, cooperate and remediate.22 The Pilot Program guidance suggests that companies that voluntarily self-disclose will be better placed to negotiate for a declination, the holy grail for companies facing FCPA inquiries, and echoes the Yates Memorandum by requiring that a company share all relevant information about individuals and third parties involved in misconduct to qualify for the benefits of the Program.

The DOJ’s Fraud Section wasted no time showcasing the Pilot Program’s potential results: just months after the Program was launched, the DOJ took the rare step of publicly releasing declination letters sent to three US-based companies (Nortek, Inc, Akamai Technologies, Inc and Johnson Controls, Inc) for their subsidiaries’ conduct in China. The letters stated that, ‘consistent with the FCPA Pilot Program,’ the DOJ had closed its inquiry despite the existence of bribery by company employees in China due to, among other factors, the companies’ voluntary self-disclosure, thorough investigation, fulsome cooperation, including by providing information on all individuals involved in or responsible for the misconduct, and full remediation, including by suspending or terminating relevant employees.23 The letters noted that the companies would be disgorging any ill-gotten gains as a result of their agreements with the SEC (and that Johnson Controls, whose subsidiary appears to have engaged in more serious misconduct, would be subject to a penalty).24 All three SEC agreements alleged that the subsidiaries’ inaccurate books and records were folded into those of their parents, and Johnson Controls’ cease-and-desist order emphasised the company’s inadequate internal controls. The agreements did not, however, detail additional wilful misconduct touching the US, the absence of which may have factored into the DOJ’s decision not to prosecute.25There may, of course, be additional misconduct not included in the SEC’s agreements, or ongoing investigations into individuals that have not been publicised.

At least in the short term, the Pilot Program may not significantly change the calculus for an entity that discovers misconduct because a company may remain reticent to self-report until more test cases have occurred. As it stands, it is likely too early to tell whether the Program will be a drastic departure from previous practice, as the DOJ has previously (though rarely) publicised declinations that occurred as a result of cooperation; when the DOJ declined to prosecute Colombian oil and gas company PetroTiger in June 2015 (nearly a year before the Pilot Program was released), the DOJ’s press release read:

Based on PetroTiger’s voluntary disclosure, cooperation, and remediation, among other factors, the department declined to prosecute PetroTiger.26

In line with the government’s stated priorities, this declination came along with a guilty plea from the company’s former CEO, Joseph Sigelman.27

The SEC’s first DPA with an individual in an FCPA case, announced in February 2016, is another example of the government’s efforts to emphasise how cooperation will be rewarded. Without alleging specific facts tying the individual to the corporate misconduct, the DPA states that the SEC will not bring any enforcement action as a result of the individual’s continued cooperation in the SEC’s case against his former employer, so long as he does not violate US securities laws.28

Continued focus on pharma

The US government has long targeted foreign corruption in the pharmaceutical and medical device industry, from the industry sweep in 2011, up to and including the DOJ’s 2016 resolution with Olympus Latin America, the Miami-headquartered distributor for the Japanese-based Olympus Corporation. The three-year DPA provided for a $22.8 million penalty for bribing healthcare professionals through perks given at ‘training centres’ to increase the company’s sales of medical imaging equipment in Central and South America.29 The attention to the industry in Latin America is unlikely to end soon: so far in 2016, diagnostic test-maker Alere, Inc has disclosed that it received a grand jury subpoena from the DOJ regarding its sales practices in Africa, Asia and Latin America; the DOJ has stated in a court filing that medical device manufacturer Biomet, Inc breached its 2012 DPA as a result of conduct in Brazil and Mexico30and the Chief of the SEC’s FCPA Unit has announced a renewed focus on pharma, as well as anticipated increased scrutiny in the financial services sector.31

Targeting non-FCPA corruption

Corruption comes in many forms, some of them not covered by the FCPA: the FCPA’s anti-bribery provision does not prohibit bribes to private individuals, nor does it prohibit requesting or accepting a bribe. As a result, the US government has turned to other legislation to target such conduct in Latin America and elsewhere:

  • As described above, three of the former officials at Venezuela’s state oil and gas company (Jose Luis Ramos Castillo, Christian Javier Maldonado Barillas, and Alfonzo Eliezer Gravina Munoz, all based in Texas) pleaded guilty in December 2015 to conspiracy to commit money laundering, in connection with their acceptance of bribes and the laundering of the proceeds of the bribery scheme.32
  • Following guilty pleas by a number of employees and executives of Direct Access Partners,33 a senior official in Venezuela’s state economic development bank, Maria de los Angeles Gonzalez de Hernandez, was sentenced in January 2016 after pleading guilty to conspiring to violate the Travel Act and to committing money laundering in late 2013.34 The sentence did not include additional jail time; she had already spent over 16 months in prison.35
  • As we reported in last year’s update, the FIFA bribery investigation has had serious implications for football in Latin America, with prosecutions involving officials from multiple South American football federations. Notably, the indictments of over 40 defendants have included fraud, money laundering and involvement in organised crime.36 These laws (which do not prohibit bribery directly, but associated criminal conduct) are being used instead of the FCPA because FIFA is neither a government organisation nor one of the limited entities classified as a ‘public international organization’, also covered by the FCPA.37 Any companies involved may nevertheless face exposure under the FCPA’s accounting provisions, which do not require bribery of a public official.38

The DOJ has also proposed amendments to US legislation that would strengthen its non-FCPA anti-corruption capabilities by broadening domestic anti-bribery legislation and by expanding the authority of US regulators to investigate and prosecute foreign corruption and money laundering.39

The US, however, is no longer the only game in town: as tolerance for corruption has decreased, governments in Latin America have taken the opportunity to step up enforcement of their domestic anti-bribery laws, often working with US regulators to investigate and prosecute misconduct.

Local anti-corruption enforcement trends in Latin America

Multiple scandals have rocked Latin America and have focused the public’s eye on corruption. The leak of 11.5 million documents from the Panamanian law firm Mossack Fonseca – now known as the Panama Papers – has revealed the offshore holdings of over 140 public officials around the world,40 including many in Latin America.41 Argentina’s President Mauricio Macri,42 Ecuador’s President Rafael Correa,43 César Almeyda (the former head of Peruvian intelligence) and Former Buenos Aires Finance Minister Néstor Grindetti are among the politicians and world leaders implicated.44 The leak has sparked calls for reform, and the governments of Argentina, Brazil, Colombia and Mexico committed to increase transparency of beneficial ownership during the Anti-Corruption Summit in London in May 2016.45

Even aside from the Panama Papers, the region has recently had more than its fair share of allegations of corruption. In Latin America’s largest nation, the investigation into Brazil’s Petrobras (known as ‘Operação Lava Jato’ or ‘Operation Car Wash’) has led to numerous arrests, leniency agreements, plea bargains, and convictions, with a long list of politicians, corporate executives, and companies involved.46 The Petrobras investigation has spawned inquiries into Brazil’s largest power utility company, Eletrobras,47 which has hired a group of experts to look into possible violations of US and Brazilian anti-corruption laws.48 The political turmoil caused by these and other ongoing investigations,49 as well as the country’s economic troubles, served as the backdrop to the suspension of Brazil’s President Dilma Rousseff in May 2016, and her replacement with interim President Michel Temer (who has since been accused of corruption in relation to Petrobras).50 Rousseff, who previously served as Petrobras’ chairperson, has not been implicated in Lava Jato, but she has been accused of violating Brazil’s financial accountability laws.51

Political leaders elsewhere in the region have not escaped scrutiny: Argentina’s former president Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner is under investigation for money laundering and was charged with manipulating the country’s economy to boost her chances of re-election,52 and Guatemala’s former president and vice president, Otto Perez Molina and Roxana Baldetti, were detained in connection with the La Linea customs bribery ring, and were accused of accepting payoffs in an unrelated case involving Guatemala’s Quetzal Port.53 Peru’s former President Ollanta Humala and President Pedro Pablo Kuczynski have come under scrutiny regarding the Petrobras investigation.54 Even one of Latin America’s least corrupt countries has had its share of scandal:55 for example, the daughter-in-law of Chilean President Michelle Bachelet was charged (along with 12 others) in a corruption case in January 2016.56

In light of these stories and the many others like them, it would not be surprising for the people of Latin America to be on the lookout for – and angry about – corruption. In fact, a recent survey of executives in Brazil has shown that 90 per cent believe corruption is widespread in the country,57 and statistics on the incidence of whistleblowing tips to US regulators signal broader public condemnation of corruption in the region. Although there has been a small decrease in the absolute number of tips received from the Americas (48 tips in 2015 versus 50 tips in 2014, excluding those from the US and Canada), these tips have been coming from a broader range of countries, including Ecuador, El Salvador and Venezuela.58 Furthermore, the number of tips received from Brazil alone more than doubled between 2014 and 2015.59

Beyond just public engagement, we have outlined below some additional trends in anti-corruption enforcement by Latin American authorities.

Increasing enforcement resources

In the US, 2016 has already seen significant increases to the DOJ’s and FBI’s FCPA enforcement capabilities.60 Similarly, our neighbours to the south have been working to ramp up their anti-bribery enforcement capacity as well. In recent years, many Latin American countries have passed laws addressing corruption and dedicating resources to the task. As a few examples, Colombia passed an Anti-Corruption Statute in 2011,61 Brazil’s Clean Companies Act went into effect in 2014,62 and, later that year, Argentina’s Supreme Court announced that it would create a specialised group of experts to support judges in prosecuting corruption cases.63

This past year has seen its share of changes as well. In July 2016, Mexico passed the secondary legislation necessary to enact the anti-corruption framework that the President signed into law in 2015.64 In addition, Mexico’s new Transparency and Access to Public Information Law (which provides access to public information held by governmental bodies in Mexico) went into effect in May 2016.65

In March 2016, Argentina’s President Macri announced proposed legislation that would expand the investigative techniques available to prosecutors, described in greater detail below.66

In February 2016, Colombia issued a law against transnational bribery.67 In addition to amending provisions on domestic bribery in Colombia’s Anti-Corruption Statute,68 it creates corporate (administrative) liability for foreign bribery; increases the penalties for individual criminal liability for bribing foreign officials; and incentivises companies to self-report and create and maintain systems of internal controls.69 The law, which falls within the purview of Colombia’s Superintendence of Companies, will help the country to achieve OECD standards for anti-bribery.70

Honduras took a page from Guatemala’s book by making use of an international body to support its efforts to prosecute bribery and corruption. Launched in early 2016, the Organization of American States-backed ‘Support Mission Against Corruption and Impunity in Honduras’ (MACCIH) (similar to the United Nations-backed International Commission Against Impunity in Guatemala) is tasked with combating corruption and with political, electoral and criminal justice reform.71 The MACCIH was a response to public anti-­corruption demonstrations in Honduras calling for the establishment of such a body,72 as well as for the resignation of Honduran President Juan Orlando Hernández, who admitted that his election campaign benefited from money stolen from the country’s social security institute.73 Critics of the MACCIH question its ability to be effective;74 for now, the mission has announced that it will be investigating the allegations of fraud in the country’s social security apparatus.75

These changes have brought corruption enforcement to the forefront, with increased emphasis on efforts by local authorities. A few examples from the past year include:

OHL Mexico SAB was fined $1.4 million in an accounting probe by Mexico’s securities regulator that began after audio recordings were posted on YouTube that purported to show executives discussing pay-offs to judges and a free luxury hotel stay for a public official. While regulators did not find evidence of fraud, the company was fined for its accounting practices.76

In November 2015 a judge in Chile ruled to extend the investigation into whether Chilean conglomerate Penta Group and its executives engaged in a fraudulent scheme worth hundreds of millions of dollars.77

In May 2016 a judge in Brazil convicted Robert de Macedo, the president of MMC Automotores (Mitsubishi’s distributor in Brazil), for his involvement in a bribery scheme intended to pass legislation to benefit the auto industry, and sentenced him to four years and two months in prison.78

Cooperation among regulators

The most significant investigations this past year, though, are not only the result of local prosecutors enforcing the laws of their home countries – rather, these largest investigations span national boarders and highlight the increasing communication and cooperation among regulators throughout the Americas and around the world.

Such cooperation sometimes takes the form of follow-on investigations, where local prosecutors dive in once a foreign resolution has occurred. This trend is not new: in 2013 Argentina sought information about the customs officials implicated in Ralph Lauren’s SEC and DOJ settlements,79 and indicted 17 current and former employees of Siemens following the company’s $800 million FCPA settlement with the SEC and the DOJ in 2008.80 Commentators have since speculated that the SEC’s settlement with the former CEO of LAN will lead to local investigations as well, although none has been publicised to date.81

Moving north, in December 2015 Brazilian prosecutors charged 12 individuals in connection with a bribery scheme involving SBM Offshore,82 and in January 2016 the company’s CEO and chief compliance officer agreed to an out-of-court settlement with Brazilian prosecutors regarding allegations that they had favoured personnel by withholding information from investigators.83 The company, which provides floating production systems to the oil and gas industry, negotiated a leniency agreement with the Brazilian government and had previously settled with Dutch authorities in 2014 for $240 million.84 Authorities in the Netherlands have reported receiving information from the Brazilian government in making their case against SBM, although it is unclear whether the Netherlands has reciprocated.85

This past year has witnessed the spread of investigations across countries within Latin America as well, a further sign of cooperation among regulators in different jurisdictions: prosecutors in Argentina are investigating approximately 100 companies for involvement in bribery of government officials stemming from Brazil’s Operation Car Wash, following a tip from Brazilian prosecutors.86 The probe includes inquiries into the Argentine operations of a number of Brazilian firms, including Odebrecht SA (whose CEO has been sentenced to 19 years in prison in Brazil), Andrade Gutierrez, OAS, and Camargo Correa.87

Similarly, in 2015 Ecuador announced audits of its contracts with Odebrecht, and Colombia’s Vice President noted that Odebrecht could be barred from bidding on public contracts.88 Petrobras-related debarments are not unprecedented: Brazil has already banned construction companies Skanska and Mendes Junior Engenharia over allegations of bribery.89

US regulators have continued to emphasise that they work to coordinate enforcement efforts for corruption and other crimes that cross national borders. Such cooperation among regulators is likely occurring in the Petrobras investigation, with information exchanges between the US authorities and the Brazilian task force on the ground.90 Simultaneous investigation can occur on a smaller scale as well:

  • The US and Brazil have been investigating Embraer SA’s alleged bribery of government officials in the Dominican Republic since 2010, and the Brazilian securities regulator CVM rejected a settlement offered by the company’s former head of defence, Orlando José Ferreira Neto.91
  • The SEC, the DOJ and Chilean tax authorities and prosecutors have been investigating Chilean mining company, Sociedad Química y Minera de Chile, which reported in an SEC filing that $11 million in payments ‘may not have been properly supported.’92 This investigation stemmed from the country’s investigation into Penta Group, described above.

This trend is expected to continue, as both the SEC and the DOJ, as well as representatives of Argentina, Brazil, Colombia and Mexico, have all committed to ramping up international cooperation efforts in coming enforcement actions.93

Cooperation in anti-bribery enforcement is not limited to national regulators. The World Bank’s Integrity Vice-Presidency has been actively investigating allegations of fraud and corruption in World Bank-financed projects in the region, and the Inter-American Development Bank also has an enforcement regime.94 World Bank investigations led to debarment of 11 companies and individuals in fiscal-year 2015 because of misconduct in Latin America – 17 per cent of all debarments that year.95 The World Bank also refers cases to local governments when there is evidence that local laws have been violated. The Bank referred four cases to Latin American governments in 2015 (Argentina, Peru and Guatemala), and indicated that the Guatemalan government has opened an investigation into a Bank referral from 2013.96 The World Bank’s referral regime was given a boost in 2016 by the Canadian Supreme Court, as the Court upheld the Bank’s privileges and immunities after it had provided evidence of corruption to Canadian law enforcement authorities.97

Use of new enforcement tools

Beyond just increasing cooperation, the past year has seen changes to the tools used by Latin American governments to police corruption. For instance, whistleblower protection and leniency agreements have been important areas for reform as prosecutors seek cooperation from corporate wrongdoers, and both of these were emphasised (to varying degrees) by Argentina, Brazil and Colombia at the May 2016 Anti-Corruption Summit in London.98 In December 2015 Brazil proposed a provisional measure to amend the Clean Companies Act that would have modified how companies can enter into leniency agreements.99 The measure expired without being passed,100 but Brazil’s prosecutors continue to make use of such cooperation agreements in Operation Car Wash to recover funds from companies like Camargo Correa and SBM Offshore, and prosecutors are still looking to obtain more.101

In Argentina, President Macri has pushed for reforms to the criminal system to allow ‘special investigation techniques’ for complex cases including the use of whistleblowers and plea bargains.102 The reform, among other things, would allow prosecutors to negotiate with criminal defendants in exchange for information, a potentially useful tool in the country’s many ongoing corruption investigations.103 As of June 2016, the reform had not been officially approved and was still under discussion in Congress.104

Finally, Colombia has also expanded access to cooperation credit for defendants in corruption investigations. The country’s new anti-bribery law, described above, provides for reduced penalties for companies that self-report misconduct and cooperate with the government’s investigation,105 and the country has committed to proposing a Whistleblower Protection Bill.106

Looking ahead

The current uptick in anti-corruption sentiment (and enforcement) in Latin America shows no sign of slowing. The ongoing attention of US and local authorities to the issue means that companies operating in the region are increasingly expected to create and implement an anti-bribery compliance programme – one that ensures monitoring of employees and subsidiaries and due diligence on third parties. If misconduct is discovered, companies would be wise to think long and hard (and with the advice of counsel) about the potential risks and benefits of self-disclosure to the relevant government authorities.

We cannot know how long these trends will last. But, if nothing else, the continuing and ever-expanding investigations of
household-name companies and politicians ensure that the popular call to end corruption will continue in the region, with local governments taking the opportunity to modernise anti-bribery legislation, increase dedicated resources, and cooperate with one another in investigating wrongdoing.

*     The authors would like to extend their thanks to Telisa Gunter, Raeesa Munshi and Charles Mwalimu for their indispensable assistance with this article.


  1. 15 USC sections 78dd-1, 78dd-2, 78dd-3.
  2. Sally Quillian Yates, Deputy Att’y Gen., DOJ, Memorandum on Individual Accountability for Corporate Wrongdoing (9 September 2015),; DOJ, US Attorney’s Manual, Focus on Individual Wrongdoers section 9-28.210 (15 November 2015),
  3. Andrew Ceresney, Director, Division of Enforcement, SEC, ACI’s 32nd FCPA Conference Keynote Address (17 November 2015),; Yu Kai Yuan DPA (10 December 2015).
  4. Press Release, SEC, SEC Charges Six Individuals With Insider Trading in Stock of E-Commerce Company Prior to Acquisition by eBay (25 April 2014).
  5. Press Release, SEC, SEC Announces Initiative to Encourage Individuals and Companies to Cooperate and Assist in Investigations (13 January 2010).
  6. Benito Romano & Joe Gallagher, ‘Cross-border overview: anti-corruption enforcement in Latin America’, The Investigations Review of the Americas 2016, Global Investigations Review (25 August 2015),
  7. Press Release, DOJ, Former Executive Sentenced for Conspiracy to Bribe Panamanian Officials (16 December 2015).
  8. Id.; In the Matter of Vincente E Garcia, Exchange Act Release No. 75684 paragraph B (12 August 2015).
  9. In the Matter of SAP SE, Exchange Ac Release No. 77005 paragraphs 10-20, B (1 February 2016).
  10. Id. at paragraph 21.
  11. Press Release, DOJ, Former Chief Financial Officer of Siemens Argentina Pleads Guilty to Role in Multimillion Dollar Foreign Bribery Scheme (30 September 2015).
  12. SEC v Uriel Sharef et al, Complaint, 11-CIV-9073 paragraph 13 (19 December 2011).
  13. See, eg, Richard L Cassin, Here’s Our New Top Ten List, with VimpelCom Landing Sixth, FCPA Blog (19 February 2016),; Mike Esterl & David Crawford, Siemens to Pay Huge Fine in Bribery Inquiry, Wall St. J. (15 December 2008),
  14. In the Matter of Ignacio Cueto Plaza, Exchange Act Release No. 77057 paragraphs 19-28 (4 February 2016).
  15. Id. at paragraph B.
  16. Id. at paragraph 3; Press Release, DOJ, LATAM Airlines Group Resolves Foreign Corrupt Practices Act Investigation and Agrees to Pay $12.75 Million Criminal Penalty (25 July 2016).
  17. In the Matter of Ignacio Cueto Plaza, supra note 14, at paragraph 20.
  18. See Richard L Cassin, Hurtado Jailed Three Years in Direct Access Partners Bribe Case, FCPA Blog (18 December 2015),
  19. SEC v Clarke Bethancourt, et al, Litigation Release No. 23513 [SEC Obtains Settlement in Kickback Scheme to Secure Business of Venezuelan Bank] (8 April 2016); Samuel Rubenfeld, Direct Access Partners Executives Sentenced in Venezuela Bribery Scheme, Wall St. J. (27 March 2016),
  20. Press Release, DOJ, Businessman Pleads Guilty to Foreign Bribery and Tax Charges in Connection with Venezuela Bribery Scheme (16 June 2016); Press Release, DOJ, Miami Businessman Pleads Guilty to Foreign Bribery and Fraud Charges in Connection with Venezuela Bribery Scheme (23 March 2016).
  21. Ceresney, supra note 3.
  22. Fraud Section, DOJ, The Fraud Section’s Foreign Corrupt Practices Act Enforcement Plan and Guidance (5 April 2016) (hereinafter FCPA Enforcement Plan),
  23. Letter from Daniel Kahn, Deputy Chief, Fraud Section, DOJ, to Jay Holtmeier, WilmerHale regarding Johnson Controls, Inc (21 June 2016); Letter from Daniel Kahn, Deputy Chief, Fraud Section, DOJ to Ryan Rohlfsen, Ropes & Gray LLP regarding Akamai Technologies Inc (6 June 2016); Letter from Daniel Kahn, Deputy Chief, Fraud Section, DOJ to Luke Cadigan, K&L Gates regarding Nortek, Inc (3 June 2016).
  24. Sources cited supra note 23; see also Press Release, SEC, SEC Announces Two Non-Prosecution Agreements in FCPA Cases (7 June 2016); In the Matter of Johnson Controls, Inc, Exchange Act Release No. 78287 paragraph B (11 July 2016).
  25. See Akamai Technologies, Inc NPA (7 June 2016); Nortek, Inc NPA (7 June 2016); In the Matter of Johnson Controls, Inc, supra note 24.
  26. Press Release, DOJ, Former Chief Executive Officer of Oil Services Company Pleads Guilty to Foreign Bribery Charge (15 June 2015).
  27. Id. Mr Sigelman was sentenced to three years of probation and to pay $339,000 in fines and restitution. Joel Schectman, Ex-CEO Sigelman of PetroTiger Sentenced to Probation Over Bribery, Wall St. J. (16 June 2015),
  28. Yuan DPA, supra note 3, at paragraphs 4, 7, 16.
  29. Olympus Latin America, Inc. DPA paragraphs 3, 6, 7, 15 (1 March 2016).
  30. Alere Inc, Current Report (Form 8-K) (15 March 2016); United States of America v Biomet, Inc., Status Report, 1:12-cr-080 paragraph 3 (6 June 2016).
  31. Kara N Brockmeyer, Chief, FCPA Unit, Division of Enforcement, SEC, Remarks during the SEC Speaks in 2016 Seminar (19 February 2016) (available through the Practicing Law Institute).
  32. DOJ Press Release, Miami Businessman Pleads Guilty to Foreign Bribery, supra note 20.
  33. See supra text accompanying notes 18 and 19.
  34. See Press Release, DOJ, High-Ranking Bank Official at Venezuelan State Development Bank Pleads Guilty to Participating in Bribery Scheme (18 November 2013); Samuel Rubenfeld, Former Venezuelan Official Avoids Prison in Direct Access Partners Case, Wall St. J.: Risk & Compliance J. (15 January 2016),
  35. See Rubenfeld, supra note 34.
  36. Press Release, DOJ, Sixteen Additional FIFA Officials Indicted for Racketeering Conspiracy and Corruption (3 December 2015).
  37. See 15 USC section 78dd-1(f)(1)(A) (defining a ‘foreign official’ to include ‘any officer or employee of […] a public international organization,’ as designated by Executive order); see also Andy Spalding, FIFA: The Curiously Bribe-Free Corruption Case, FCPA Blog (5 October 2015),
  38. See DOJ & SEC, FCPA: A Resource Guide to the US Foreign Corrupt Practices Act 38-39 (2012),; see also Aruna Viswanatha et al., US Probes Nike Payments Under Brazil Deal, Wall St. J. (12 June 2015),
  39. See DOJ, Anti-Corruption Legislative Proposals (2016),; Press Release, DOJ, Justice Department Proposes Legislation to Advance Anti-Corruption Efforts (5 May 2016).
  40. Luke Harding, What are the Panama Papers? A Guide to History’s Biggest Data Leak, The Guardian (5 April 2016), While not illegal, offshore holdings are often used as vehicles for other crimes like money laundering. See id.
  41. See, eg, Officials in Latin America Linked to ‘Panama Papers,’ The Tico Times (4 April 2016),
  42. See, eg, Panama Papers: Argentina President Macri to go Before Judge, BBC News (8 April 2016),
  43. See, eg, Nick Miroff, Kickbacks, Dirty Deals and More: The Corruption Scandals Plaguing Latin America, The Wash. Post (27 April 2016),
  44. Panama Papers: The Power Players, Int’l Consortium of Investigative Journalists, (last visited 7 June 2016).
  45. Anti-Corruption Summit: Country Statements, (12 May 2016),
  46. See Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer LLP Bribery Watch, an online tool that tracks anti-bribery and corruption legislative developments and enforcement activity across 150 countries around the world (available via subscription) (hereinafter Bribery Watch); see also, eg, Taisa Sganzerla, Your Guide to Understanding Brazil’s Political Crisis, Public Radio Int’l (29 March 2016),; Bruce Douglas, Petrobras Investigation: Portuguese Police Arrest Former Executive, The Guardian (21 March 2016),; Vinod Sreeharsha, Brazilian Businessman Gets Stiff Sentence in Petrobras Scandal, N.Y. Times (8 March 2016),
  47. See Vanessa Dezem, The One Brazilian Scandal Almost No One is Talking About, Bloomberg (21 December 2015),
  48. Caroline Stauffer, Eletrobras’ Corruption Probe Zeroes in on Brazilian Dams, Reuters (7 October 2015),
  49. Other ongoing investigations in Brazil include an inquiry into possible corruption related to the 2016 Olympic Games, as well as the Operation Zelotes inquiry into potentially fraudulent activities in the country’s Board of Tax Appeals. See, eg, Brad Brooks, Exclusive: Brazil Investigating Possible Corruption at Olympic Venues, Reuters (25 May 2016),; Francisco Marcelino, Billionaire Safra Accused of Corruption in Brazil Tax Case, Bloomberg (31 March 2016),; Bribery Watch, supra note 46.
  50. See Jeffrey T Lewis, Brazil’s Interim President Michel Temer Linked to Corruption Probe in Plea Bargain, Wall. St. J. (15 June 2016),; Camila Domonoske, Brazil’s President Suspended from Office by Senate, Nat’l Pub. Radio (12 May 2016),; Jonathan Watts, Dilma Rousseff Suspended as Senate Votes to Impeach Brazilian President, The Guardian (12 May 2016),
  51. See, eg, Brazil’s Rousseff Denies Claims for Obstruction of Justice, BBC News (4 May 2016),; Paulo Trevisani & Luciana Magalhaes, Brazil Congressional Committee Votes to Recommend Impeachment of President Dilma Rousseff, Wall St. J. (11 April 2016),
  52. Patrick Gillespie, Argentina’s Former President Kirchner Charged for Manipulating Economy, CNN Money (14 May 2016),; Jorge Otaola et al., Argentina’s Fernandez Faces Money Laundering Probe: Source, Reuters (9 April 2016),
  53. Elyssa Pachico, Guatemala Ex-President Received Millions in Bribes from Spanish Company, InSight Crime (18 April 2016),; Associated Press, Guatemala’s Former President Linked to New Scandal, Wall St. J. (15 April 2016),
  54. Peru’s New President Probed in Petrobras Corruption Scandal, Telesur (22 June 2016), Petrobras-Corruption-Scandal-20160622-0046.html; Joe Leahy & Andres Scgipani, Peru President Rejects Link to Petrobras Scandal, Fin. Times (24 February 2016), intl/cms/s/0/87349398-da88-11e5-9ba8-3abc1e7247e4. html#axzz4BUUzQJfn.
  55. Based on Transparency International’s Corruption Perception Index, Chile ranks 23 out of 168 countries profiled with a score of 70, just 6 short of the US’ score. In South America, only Uruguay ranks higher than Chile, with a score of 74. Corruption by Country/Territory, Transparency Int’l, (last visited 8 June 2016).
  56. Pascale Bonnefoy, Daughter-in-Law of Chile’s President Faces Corruption Charge, N.Y. Times (29 January 2016),
  57. Ernst & Young, Corporate misconduct—individual consequences: Global enforcement focuses the spotlight on executive integrity 33 (2016),$FILE/EY-corporate-misconduct-individual-consequences.pdf.
  58. Compare SEC, 2014 Annual Report to Congress on the Dodd-Frank Whistleblower Program 29,, with SEC, 2015 Annual Report to Congress on the Dodd-Frank Whistleblower Program 30,; Carlos Ayres, Whistleblowers: 2015 Year in Review, FCPAméricas Blog (12 February 2016),
  59. See sources cited supra note 58.
  60. FCPA Enforcement Plan, supra note 22.
  61. Bribery Watch, supra note 46; Colombia: Overview of Corruption and Anti-Corruption, Transparency Int’l (15 March 2013),
  62. Bribery Watch, supra note 46.
  63. Id.; see also Luciana Bertoia, Supreme Court Creates Group of Experts to Help Probe Corruption, Buenos Aires Herald (22 October 2014),
  64. See, eg, Bribery Watch, supra note 46; President Signs New Anti-Corruption Laws, Mexico News Daily (19 July 2016),; Juan Montes, Mexican Lawmakers Revise Antigraft Legislation, Wall St. J. (6 July 2016),; Kirk Semple, Grass-Roots Anticorruption Drive Puts Heat on Mexican Lawmakers, N.Y. Times (28 May 2016),
  65. Entra en vigor Ley de Transparencia y Acceso a la Información Pública, Uno Tv (10 May 2016),
  66. Luís Vieira, Argentina to Expand Use of Plea Bargaining, Inspired by Brazil, Q. Americas (24 March 2016),
  67. Superintendencia de Sociedades, Presidente Santos Sanciona Ley de Lucha Contra el Soborno Transnacional (2 February 2016), Presidente-Santos-sanciona-ley-de-lucha-contra-el-soborno-transnacional.aspx; see also Leslie R Caldwell, Assistant Att’y Gen., DOJ, Speech at Catholic University of Colombia on Strategic International Cooperation in Fight Against Transnational Crime (12 April 2016),
  68. L. 1778, Por La Cual Se Dictan Normas Sobre La Responsabilidad De Las Personas Jurídicas Por Actos De Corrupción Transnacional Y Se Dictan Otras Disposiciones En Materia De Luchan Contra La Corrupción, 2 February 2016, article 35 (Colom.),; see also Bribery Watch, supra note 46.
  69. L. 1778, supra note 68 at article 2 (administrative liability), article 30 (individual criminal liability) and articles 19 and 23 (self-reporting and internal controls).
  70. L. 1778, supra note 68 at article 3; Superintendencia de Sociedades, supra note 67; Ignacio Giraldo, New Colombian Anti-Bribery Law Boosts Battle against Both Local and Transnational Bribery, TRACE International (14 April 2016),
  71. Honduras Gets New Anti-Corruption Commission, The Tico Times (22 February 2016),; Nina Lakhani, Honduras President Announces International Body to Tackle Corruption, The Guardian (19 January 2016),
  72. Honduras Gets New Anti-Corruption Commission, supra note 71.
  73. See Lakhani, supra note 71.
  74. See, eg, id.; see also Alexander Main, An Anti-Corruption Charade in Honduras, N.Y. Times (16 February 2016)
  75. Gustavo Palencia, OAS Anti-Graft Body to Probe Honduran Scandal Dogging President, Reuters (19 April 2016),
  76. Isabella Cota, OHL Mexico Rallies After Regulator Finds No Evidence of Fraud, Bloomberg (28 March 2016),
  77. Eleanor Warnick, Chilean Judge Extends Penta Group Bribery Investigation, Global Investigations Review (24 November 2015),
  78. Judge Convicts Head of Mitsubishi Motors Representative in Brazil, Reuters (4 May 2016),
  79. Bribery Watch, supra note 46; Stewart Bishop, Argentina Wants Names in Ralph Lauren Bribery Case, Law 360 (23 April 2013),
  80. Press Release, DOJ, Siemens AG and Three Subsidiaries Plead Guilty to Foreign Corrupt Practices Act Violations and Agree to Pay $450 Million in Combined Criminal Fines (15 December 2008) (‘[…] Siemens AG will pay a combined total of more than $1.6 billion in fines, penalties and disgorgement of profits, including $800 million to U.S. authorities, making the combined U.S. penalties the largest monetary sanction ever imposed in an FCPA case since the act was passed by Congress in 1977.’).
  81. Alison O’Connel, SEC Settlement with LAN CEO May Spark Local Investigation, Global Investigations Review (16 February 2016),
  82. Caroline Stauffer et. al., Brazil Prosecutors Charge 12 in SBM Offshore Graft Scheme, Reuters (17 December 2015),
  83. Adam Dobrik, SBM Offshore CEO and Compliance Chief Settle Brazilian Non-Cooperation Charges, Global Investigations Review (25 January 2016),
  84. Rogerio Jelmayer, Brazil Reaches Leniency Deal With SBM Offshore, Wall St. J. (18 July 2016),; Stauffer et al., supra note 82.
  85. Stauffer et al., supra note 82; Adam Dobrik, Brazil Frustrated by Lack of Dutch Cooperation in SBM Offshore, Global Investigations Review (20 April 2015),
  86. Nicholas Misculin, Argentine Prosecutors Cast Wide Net In Brazil Graft Probe, Reuters (14 March 2016),
  87. Id.
  88. Nicholas Misculin, Argentina Probes Brazilian Construction Firm Odebrecht’s Local Unit, Reuters (9 March 2016),
  89. Rahul Rose, Skanska Debarred in Brazil for Alleged Petrobras-Related Corruption, Global Investigations Review (9 June 2016),
  90. Paul Kiernan, Petrobras Corruption Scandal Draws Attention of US Investigators, Wall St. J. (12 November 2014),
  91. Embraer SA, Annual Report Pursuant To Section 13 Or 15(D) Of The Securities Exchange Act Of 1934 (Form 20-F) (28 March 2016), at 95-96; Brad Haynes, UPDATE 2-Brazil’s Embraer Names Commercial Aviation Chief as New CEO, Reuters (9 June 2016),; Brad Haynes & Cesar Bianconi, Brazil Regulator Rejects Deal With Former Embraer Defense Chief, Reuters (26 April 2016),
  92. Sociedad Química y Minera De Chile SA, Annual Report Pursuant To Section 13 Or 15(D) Of The Securities Exchange Act Of 1934 (Form 20-F) (22 April 2016), at 5-8; Waithera Junghae, SQM Internal Probe Finds Potential Improper Payments, Global Investigations Review (25 April 2016),
  93. FCPA Enforcement Plan, supra note 22; Anti-Corruption Summit: Country Statements, supra note 45; see also Brockmeyer, supra note 31.
  94. See The World Bank Group Integrity Vice Presidency, Annual Update Fiscal Year 2015 (2016) (hereinafter INT 2015 Update); Sanctioned Firms and Individuals, Inter-American Development Bank (2015),,1293.html.
  95. INT 2015 Update, supra note 94. Debarred individuals and entities are ineligible to be awarded World Bank-financed contracts, either permanently or for a designated period of time. Sanctions and Compliance, The World Bank,
  96. INT 2015 Update, supra note 94.
  97. World Bank Group v Wallace, [2016] SCC 15 (Can.),; Stephen Zimmerman & Giuliana Dunham-Irving, Canada Supreme Court Rules In Support Of World Bank, Strengthens Global Anti-Corruption Fight, FCPA Blog (5 May 2016),
  98. Anti-Corruption Summit: Country Statements, supra note 45.
  99. Danilo Fariello, Medida Provisória dos Acordos de Leniência Perde Validade, O Globo (31 May 2016),
  100.  Id.
  101. See, eg, Jelmayer, supra note 84; Vieira, supra note 66; Guillermo Parra-Bernal & Caroline Stauffer, UPDATE: 1-Brazil’s Camargo Correa to Return $202 Mln to State Firms—Prosecutors, Reuters (21 August 2015),
  102. Avanza La Ley Que Impulse El Juicio Exprés, La Nación (2 June 2016),
  103. Id. See also sources cited supra note 46.
  104.  Diputados Dio Media Sanción a la Ley del Arrepentido y Extinción de Dominio, Gerente (23 June 2016),; Hugo Alconada Mon, Marcha Atrás Con La Figura Del Arrepentido En Casos De Corrupción, La Nación (6 June 2016),
  105. L. 1778, supra note 68 at article 19.
  106. See Anti-Corruption Summit: Country Statements, supra note 45.

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