Government Investigations

Real estate investment trust VERIET, Inc. (formerly known as American Realty Capital Properties) announced this week that it agreed to a $765.5 million settlement to resolve shareholder class action and related lawsuits arising from a host of alleged securities violations and accounting fraud at ARCP since the company went public in 2011. Defendants in the class action settlement have agreed to pay more than $1 billion in compensation, including millions from ARCP’s former manager and principals, chief financial officer, and former auditor.

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The frequency and magnitude of Foreign Corrupt Practices Act of 1977 (FCPA) (15 U.S.C. § 78dd-1, et seq.) investigations and claims continue to grow. Last month, the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission announced that Halliburton Co. had agreed to pay $29.2 million in fines and penalties to settle allegations that its operations in Angola and Iraq violated the FCPA’s books and records and internal accounting controls provisions. In its press release, Halliburton vowed that it had “continuously enhanced its global ethics and compliance program” since first receiving an anonymous tip in December 2010, but the recent settlement serves as a reminder that even the most robust compliance program cannot guarantee that FCPA violations will not occur.

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Yesterday, a federal court found that FIFA’s D&O insurer is obligated to reimburse and advance legal costs for the defense of Eduardo Li, one of the defendants in the FIFA racketeering and fraud prosecution. Li v. Certain Underwriters at Lloyd’s, London, No. 15-cv-6099 (E.D.N.Y. Apr. 27, 2016). Li was the president of the Costa Rican soccer federation, an executive member of the soccer association for North and Central America (CONCACAF), and a member of FIFA standing committees. Along with other FIFA executives, he was indicted this past summer and charged with racketeering conspiracy, wire fraud conspiracy, and money laundering conspiracy.
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