Securities Law Daily provides daily coverage of developments in the regulation of federal, state, and international securities and futures trading, with objective coverage of the...
May 2 — The Securities and Exchange Commission is continuing to scrutinize companies' hiring practices in the wake of the agency's first-ever Foreign Corrupt Practices Act enforcement cases involving the hiring of interns, a senior SEC official said.
Kara Brockmeyer, chief of the SEC enforcement division's FCPA unit, said May 2 in New York that her agency's first enforcement cases involving the hiring of interns in alleged efforts to advance commercial interests by Bank of New York Mellon Corp. and Qualcomm Inc. signaled a trend that will continue.
“There's a few more cases that I think will be coming down the pipeline in that area,” Brockmeyer told a Practising Law Institute conference.
The FCPA prohibits companies from improperly influencing foreign officials with anything of value.
In the Bank of New York Mellon case, the SEC alleged that the financial institution provided three student internships to family members of foreign government officials affiliated with a Middle Eastern sovereign wealth fund (160 SLD, 8/19/15). The bank agreed to pay $14.8 million to resolve the case without admitting or denying misconduct. The case was the SEC's first FCPA action involving internships as well as its first FCPA case against a financial institution.Qualcomm, in turn, provided jobs for children of Chinese government officials, describing the hires internally as “must place” or “special” candidates, the SEC contended (41 SLD, 3/2/16). The company agreed to pay $7.5 million to resolve the allegations without admitting or denying wrongdoing.
Steptoe & Johnson partner and conference speaker Lucinda Low agreed the SEC is looking at intern hiring with more scrutiny compared with the past and advised companies to be mindful of fully implementing any internal policies regarding intern hiring. “The [enforcement] tools were really the internal controls provisions of the FCPA,” she said.
Andrew Ceresney, SEC Enforcement Division director, said in December that the agency was broadening its interpretation of the statute to better capture “less traditional” items of value (226 SLD, 11/24/15).
The SEC's enforcement division has been active bringing FCPA actions: in fiscal 2015 the agency launched about 14 cases and in fiscal 2016, which began Oct. 1, the agency has already brought 12 cases, Brockmeyer said.
To contact the reporter on this story: Stephen Joyce in New York at firstname.lastname@example.org
To contact the editor responsible for this story: Phyllis Diamond at email@example.com
All Bloomberg BNA treatises are available on standing order, which ensures you will always receive the most current edition of the book or supplement of the title you have ordered from Bloomberg BNA’s book division. As soon as a new supplement or edition is published (usually annually) for a title you’ve previously purchased and requested to be placed on standing order, we’ll ship it to you to review for 30 days without any obligation. During this period, you can either (a) honor the invoice and receive a 5% discount (in addition to any other discounts you may qualify for) off the then-current price of the update, plus shipping and handling or (b) return the book(s), in which case, your invoice will be cancelled upon receipt of the book(s). Call us for a prepaid UPS label for your return. It’s as simple and easy as that. Most importantly, standing orders mean you will never have to worry about the timeliness of the information you’re relying on. And, you may discontinue standing orders at any time by contacting us at 1.800.960.1220 or by sending an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Put me on standing order at a 5% discount off list price of all future updates, in addition to any other discounts I may quality for. (Returnable within 30 days.)
Notify me when updates are available (No standing order will be created).
This Bloomberg BNA report is available on standing order, which ensures you will all receive the latest edition. This report is updated annually and we will send you the latest edition once it has been published. By signing up for standing order you will never have to worry about the timeliness of the information you need. And, you may discontinue standing orders at any time by contacting us at 1.800.372.1033, option 5, or by sending us an email to email@example.com.
Put me on standing order
Notify me when new releases are available (no standing order will be created)