At an SEC presentation in Washington, DC yesterday, Scott Friestad, the SEC’s Deputy Director for the Enforcement Division, told lawyers that the SEC expects FCPA penalties coming in the next two to six months to be of unprecedented amounts. “The dollar amounts in the cases that will be coming within the next short while will dwarf the disgorgement and penalty amounts that have been obtained in prior cases,” said Friestad, according to the National Law Journal.
According to the NLJ article, the larger cases and their increased frequency result from stronger enforcement power that the SEC and the U.S. Justice Department have achieved through increased cooperation from other countries.
Friestad also told the group that a “significant” number of the coming cases involve violations that weren’t self-reported by the companies but were generated by other leads, such as the SEC’s own investigatory work or whistleblowers.
One case that is on FCPA-watchers’ radar is that of Siemens A.G., which in 2006 disclosed that it had discovered more than $1 billion in bribes that might have been paid in a dozen different countries over six years to help the company win orders. Siemens recently disclosed that it has reserved about $1.3 billion in anticipation of settling the case with U.S. and German regulators.