Breuer Cautiously Approaches Costly FCPA Cases

Breuer Cautiously Approaches Costly FCPA Cases

At a May 4, 2010 Council on Foreign Affairs meeting, Assistant Attorney General Lanny Breuer suggested a potential shift in the prosecution of FCPA cases away from older, document-driven investigations to more "robust, newer" cases.1

Among the primary catalysts for such a change is the inherently limited resources of the DOJ's Fraud Section.2 Breuer noted that these resources could be utilized to investigate and prosecute new cases, or to send important messages through the prosecution of older, more difficult cases.3

Historically, it has not always been easy for the DOJ to prosecute FCPA cases against individuals, as illustrated by the cases against James Giffen and Viktor Kozeny.4 However, in his speech, Breuer noted that, since 2005, the Fraud Section had initiated 36 corporate FCPA enforcement actions, and imposed fines totaling more than $1.5 billion.5 In addition, 77 individuals have been charged with FCPA violations.6

While careful not to commit to any particular vision of future FCPA prosecutions, Breuer acknowledged the costs of prosecuting timeconsuming FCPA cases, as opposed to, for example, self-reporting or using sting operations.7 This recognition may influence the choice of cases the DOJ selects to prosecute in the FCPA area in the future.

1 Lisa Brennan, Breuer: DOJ May Rethink Costly FCPA Cases, MAIN JUSTICE, May 7, 2010, available at
2 Id.
3 Id.
4 See, e.g., Lisa Brennan, SDNY Shakes Up Team on Long-Stalled Kazakh Bribe Case, MAIN JUSTICE, Apr. 15, 2010, available at and Jesse Sunenblick, No Kozeny Extradition, Bahamian Court Rules, MAIN JUSTICE, Jan. 27, 2010, available at
5 Lisa Brennan, Breuer: DOJ May Rethink Costly FCPA Cases, MAIN JUSTICE, May 7, 2010, available at
6 Id.
7 Id.

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