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Snack food company Mondelez International announced in its 10-K on Friday that it had received a Wells notice from the SEC regarding potential violations of the FCPA at an Indian factory. The Wells notice marks the latest development in a long-running FCPA investigation dating back to 2011, when Mondelez first received a subpoena from the SEC. The Indian operations were integrated into Mondelez following its 2010 acquisition of Cadbury; the SEC's allegations relate to interactions "with Indian governmental agencies and officials to obtain approvals related to the operation of that facility." The Wells notice indicated an intent by the SEC staff to recommend the filing of an enforcement action for violations of the FCPA's books and records and internal controls provisions. Mondelez has noted that it is cooperating with both the U.S. and Indian governments in various investigations.
Bank of New York Mellon Receives Wells Notice from SEC Regarding Hiring Practices and Possible FCPA Violations
Bank of New York Mellon Corp. ("BNY") said in a January 23, 2015 securities filing that it had received a Wells Notice from the SEC indicating that the SEC had preliminarily determined to recommend an enforcement action against the bank for possible FCPA violations. Certain current and former employees had received a Wells Notice in the third quarter of 2014 and the bank itself received a Wells Notice in the fourth quarter. The SEC's inquiry focuses on BNY's provision of internships to relatives of sovereign wealth fund officials. While the details of the SEC's allegations against BNY are not known, the SEC's investigation has been ongoing since at least 2011, and follows other efforts by the agency to investigate large banks' hiring practices overseas. As previously reported by the Wall Street Journal, in March 2014, the SEC sent letters to at least five U.S. and European banks, including Credit Suisse Group AG, Goldman Sachs Group Inc., Morgan Stanley, Citigroup Inc., and UBS AG, seeking more information about their hiring practices in Asia and to examine whether the banks violated the FCPA's anti-bribery provisions by hiring relatives of well-connected government officials.
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