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On December 10, 2014, the DOJ announced that it was settling FCPA charges with Dallas Airmotive, a company that provides aircraft engine maintenance services, after the company admitted to having violated the FCPA and agreed to pay a $14 million fine. A criminal information filed as part of the settlement charged the company with bribing government officials in Brazil, Peru and Argentina from 2008 to 2012 in exchange for contracts to provide maintenance and repair services on state-owned aircraft engines. According to the criminal information, Dallas Airmotive used "front" companies and third parties to pay bribes, and also directly provided things of value, such as paid vacations, to government officials. As part of the settlement, the company entered into a deferred prosecution agreement with DOJ. The company admitted to paying the bribes in a statement of facts accompanying the deferred prosecution agreement. In comments to the Wall Street Journal, Dallas Airmotive announced that the individuals responsible for the improper payments are no longer with the company. The settlement with Dallas Airmotive follows the recent FCPA-related settlement between the DOJ and BizJet, a subsidiary of Lufthansa Technik AG, which also concerned allegedly improper payments to government officials in Latin America in exchange for business related to aircraft maintenance and repair. In 2012, BizJet entered into a deferred prosecution agreement and agreed to pay an $11.8 million fine as part of the settlement, while Lufthansa entered into a non-prosecution agreement.
On April 22, the DOJ and the SEC announced parallel actions against Ralph Lauren to resolve allegations that a subsidiary of the company paid bribes to Argentine officials over a several-year period to obtain improper customs clearance of merchandise. The SEC action included the agency's first non-prosecution agreement related to FCPA misconduct, which the SEC determined was appropriate given "Ralph Lauren's prompt reporting of the violations on its own initiative, the completeness of the information it provided, and its extensive, thorough, and real-time cooperation with the SEC's investigation." According to the SEC's NPA, Ralph Lauren's cooperation involved (i) reporting preliminary findings of its internal investigation to the staff within two weeks of discovering the illegal payments and gifts, (ii) voluntarily and expeditiously producing documents, (iii) providing English language translations of documents to the staff, (iv) summarizing witness interviews that the company's investigators conducted overseas, and (v) making overseas witnesses available for staff interviews and bringing witnesses to the U.S. The SEC agreement also required Ralph Lauren to pay over $700,000 in disgorgement and prejudgment interest, while the DOJ required the company to pay a nearly $900,000 penalty.
Judge Refuses to Find Personal Jurisdiction over Siemens Executive, in Conflict with SDNY Colleagues Ruling in Prior Week
On February 19, 2013, a federal judge granted the motion to dismiss filed by a Siemens executive, Herbert Steffen, on the grounds that the SEC's civil FCPA complaint had failed to adequately allege personal jurisdiction over him, because the allegations were "far too attenuated from the resulting harm to establish minimum contacts." A week earlier, a different judge on the same court had refused to dismiss charges against executives of Magyar Telekom on similar personal jurisdiction grounds.
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