In August 2010, SciClone Pharmaceuticals Inc. disclosed that the SEC and the Justice Department are investigating it for potential violations of the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act.
The executives had previously been placed on administrative leave.
The DOJ’s Criminal Fraud Section and the SEC are investigating at least five other major pharmaceutical companies: GlaxoSmithKline PLC; Baxter International Inc.; Eli Lilly & Co.; Bristol-Myers Squibb Co.; and Merck & Co.
The case has the trappings of an FCPA soap opera: previously undisclosed documents revealing internal DOJ disagreements over the case, squabbling between a major Washington firm and local counsel over legal fees, and the future of a man described by his attorney as a “whistleblower.”
The Justice Department fired back again at defense lawyers’ attempts to limit the scope of a key foreign bribery law and said such attempts unjustifiably transform a fact-based question into a sweeping legal one.
Prosecutors from the Southern District of New York have joined the investigation, as more than a dozen top law firms have been hired to represent executives at the company.
The company paid $300,000 last year to settle foreign bribery charges from the Securities and Exchange Commission.
Accusations from across the world illustrate the global reach of a gambling corporation.
Some of the around $207,000 in bribes the company paid in South Korea were delivered in shopping bags stuffed with cash, the SEC said.
A case that has already spawned many questions of law gives rise to yet another.
The civil employment suit against the company appears to have led to a criminal investigation by the Justice Department and SEC into potential FCPA violations.
Press reports about the United Kingdom’s Bribery Act have been alarmist, a British official says.
The drug maker has also fallen under the gaze of a separate, industry-wide probe into potential FCPA violations in the pharmaceutical industry currently being conducted by the SEC and the Justice Department.
What will it mean for multinational companies who do business in China? It’s too soon to say.
The case of U.S. v. Carson is narrowed a little, but the question remains: “Who is an ‘official’?”
BEST FCPA LAWYERS PRACTICE GROUP OF THE YEAR. Main Justice held an awards luncheon in Washington, D.C., to honor top firms in the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act arena. This video shows announcement of the finalists and winner in the Practice Group of the Year category.