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Swedish telecommunications company resolves FCPA allegations with DOJ, SEC

Financial Crimes SEC DOJ FCPA Bribery Of Interest to Non-US Persons

Financial Crimes

On December 6, the DOJ announced that it entered into a deferred prosecution agreement with a Swedish-based telecommunications company, in which the company agreed to pay more than $1 billion in criminal and civil penalties related to alleged violations of the FCPA’s anti-bribery, books and records, and internal control provisions. The company’s Egyptian subsidiary also pleaded guilty in New York federal court to a one-count criminal information that charged it with conspiracy to violate the FCPA’s anti-bribery provisions. The SEC simultaneously announced a resolution with the company. Under the terms of the agreements, the company agreed to pay a criminal fine of more than $520 million to the DOJ, and will cooperate with any ongoing investigations, enhance its compliance program, and be subject to an independent compliance monitor for three years. An additional $540 million in disgorgement and interest will be paid to the SEC. The announcements cited improper payments and accounting practices regarding five countries and various third party agents. The company received partial cooperation credit and a 15 percent criminal fine reduction for (i) “conducting a thorough internal investigation” and “making regular factual presentations to the [D]epartment”; (ii) voluntarily making foreign witnesses available to prosecutors; and (iii) “producing extensive documentation and disclosing some conduct of which the [D]epartment was previously unaware.” Additionally, the DOJ recognized the company’s measures to improve its anti-bribery compliance processes.

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