2016 was a banner year for the SEC and Department of Justice. The SEC paid out record whistleblower awards. The Department of Justice had its third best year under the False Claims Act. It paid over $500 million in whistleblower awards. Perhaps the biggest whistleblower news, however, was the record number of awards for information about bribery of foreign officials and accounting irregularities. Under the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA), both are illegal.
Public companies must make certain disclosures to the SEC and shareholders. That means when a company learns of an investigation, it must disclose to shareholders and would be investors that it is being investigated. As of the close of 2016, 81 companies reported they were the target of an active FCPA investigation. (Only 80 names are listed because one of the cases resolved last week.)
There are media reports suggesting that dozens of other companies are being investigated. We have not listed these companies.
In a few instances regarding companies on the list, the investigation may be over but there have been no new public filings. That means we have no way of knowing that an inquiry may be closed.
Obviously, simply because a company is being investigated does not mean it has done anything wrong.
The 80 companies believed to have active FCPA investigations as of January 10th are:
1 ABM Industries Incorporated
2 Aegerion Pharmaceuticals Inc
3 Affinia Group Intermediate Holdings Inc
4 Alere Inc
5 Alexion Pharmaceuticals Inc
6 Amaya Inc
7 Barclays PLC
8 Beam Inc
9 Bilfinger SE
10 Brookfield Asset Management Inc
11 CEMEX SAB de CV
12 Centrais Elétricas Brasileiras SA – Eletrobrás
13 Cobalt International Energy Inc
14 Cognizant Technology Solutions Corporation
15 Core Laboratories NV
16 Crawford & Company
17 Delphi Automotive PLC
18 Deutsche Bank AG
19 Elbit Imaging Ltd
20 Eni SpA
21 Ensco PLC
22 Exterran Corporation
23 Flowserve Corporation
24 FMC Technologies Inc
25 Frank’s International NV
26 Fresenius Medical Care AG & Co KGaA
27 Goldman Sachs Group Inc
28 Halliburton Company
29 Herc Holdings Inc
30 Hertz Global Holdings Inc
31 Hines Interests Limited Partnership
32 HSBC Holdings PLC
33 Innodata Inc
34 International Business Machines Corporation
35 iRhythm Technologies Inc
36 Juniper Networks Inc
37 KBR Inc
38 Keppel Corporation Limited
39 Kimco Realty Corporation
40 Kinross Gold Corporation
41 Laureate Education Inc
42 Lennox International Inc
43 LM Ericsson Telephone Company
44 Merck & Co Inc
45 Millicom International Cellular SA
46 Misonix Inc
47 Mobile Telesystems PJSC
48 MTS Systems Corporation
49 NCR Corporation
50 Net 1 UEPS Technologies Inc
51 NewMarket Corporation
52 Newmont Mining Corporation
53 Orthofix International NV
54 Park-Ohio Industries Inc
55 Petrofac PLC
56 Petróleo Brasileiro SA – Petrobras
57 Platform Specialty Products Corporation
58 Quad/Graphics Inc
59 Rio Tinto PLC
60 Rolls Royce PLC
61 Roust Corporation
62 Sanofi SA
63 SBM Offshore NV
64 Sensata Technologies Holding NV
65 Sevan Marine ASA
66 SL Industries Inc
67 Sociedad Quimica y Minera de Chile SA
68 Sweett Group PLC
69 Tata Communications Limited
70 Technip SA
71 TeliaSonera AB
72 Tesco Corporation
73 The Dun & Bradstreet Corporation
74 Transocean Ltd
75 Unaoil SAM
76 United Technologies Corporation
77 Vantage Drilling Company
78 Wal-Mart Stores Inc
79 Wynn Resorts Limited
80 Zimmer Biomet Holdings Inc
FCPA Whistleblower Awards for Foreign Bribery / Books and Record Schemes
We are already actively investigating some of these companies ourselves. As a whistleblower law firm, we help stop greed and corruption. We also help our clients get the largest awards possible.
Whistleblowers with inside information about foreign bribery schemes or false / fabricated books and records may be entitled to an award of up to 30% of whatever the government collects in penalties. FCPA whistleblower awards are frequently in the millions of dollars.
If you have inside information about any of these companies – or any other companies – engaged in foreign bribery or illegal “pay to play” schemes, give us a call. The same is true of larger companies that are doctoring their books or issuing phony financial statements.
Whistleblowers who report FCPA violations are not only eligible for an award, they are also protected by powerful anti-retaliation provisions.
Notes on the Current FCPA Investigations List
As noted above, we are already investigating several of the companies ourselves. Here is what we can share:
Brookfield Asset Management
Brazilian officials filed criminal charges against a Brookfield Asset Management subsidiary in 2013. The company was accused of a foreign bribery scheme. The company allegedly bribed local officials in Sao Paulo return for building permits. Since then, the company reported in November 2015 that it was no longer under investigation by US officials for the bribes. We are unsure of the current government investigation but wish to speak with insiders.
Deutsche Bank AG
Deutsche Bank is a perennial favorite of ours. We say say “perennial” because every year the company appears to be on some agency’s investigation list.
Deutsche Bank seems to be under constant scrutiny. Most recently the company was under fire for its mortgage backed securities and banking practices. Just three weeks ago the bank agreed to pay a $7.2 billion fine. Whistleblowers with inside information about misconduct within the bank may be entitled to awards under the FCPA, False Claims Act and the Financial Institutions Reform, Recovery and Enforcement Act. A trifecta of whistleblower awards!
Goldman Sachs reportedly gave jobs to children of foreign officials as a way of generating business. That practice appears common with companies doing business in Asia. It is also illegal.
London based HSBC is another bank that seems to always be in the news. Bad news. Like Deutsche Bank and Goldman Sachs, HSBC is reportedly under investigation for its foreign hiring practices. We are looking for any insider with information about offering lucrative jobs to the children or spouses of foreign government officials. Rewards are available if the jobs are being exchanged for favors or business advantage.
Merck & Co.
Pharmaceutical giant Merck claimed in 2014 that the DOJ had ended an FCPA investigation but rumors still persist that the SEC remains actively investigating the company. If so, Merck is in good company. Several other big pharma companies have been the target of recent inquiries including Pfizer, AstraZeneca PLC, Eli Lilly & Co. and GlaxoSmithKline PLC.
Petróleo Brasileiro SA – Petrobras
Name a country that isn’t investigating Petrobas! The company seems to be on everyone’s regulatory radar. If you know of any wrongdoing by the company, call us!
Rio Tinto PLC
Rio Tinto shares “honors” with Petrobas for always being in the wrong place at the wrong time. We wrote about this company and its FCPA probe in December. At that point, the company booted two senior executives over foreign bribery allegations. The company bribed public officials in Guinea in order to obtain mining rights. If press reports are true, the company deserves some credit for self reporting their violations.
MahanyLaw – FCPA Whistleblower Lawyers
If you have inside information about influence peddling involving foreign officials , foreign bribery or cooked books, you may be entitled to a large cash award. Both foreign and U.S. citizens are eligible to collect. Our whistleblower lawyers have helped our clients collect over $100 million in awards in recent years. The next award could be yours.
Awards are generally available for the first to file. Wait too long and someone else may get the award. Whether or not its too late to collect an award on any of these companies is unknown. The SEC does a fantastic job of protecting the identity of whistleblowers. Even if it is too late, chances are excellent that we can protect your identity.
And remember, the above list is just investigations that are known. For every company that gets caught, 100 escape undetected. That means there are plenty of whistleblower opportunities.
To learn more, visit our FCPA foreign bribery page or give us a call. All inquiries are protected by the attorney – client privilege and kept confidential. Have questions or ready to become a whistleblower? Contact attorney Brian Mahany at or by telephone at (direct).
Hat tip to the FCPA Blog for assembling the list.