The DOJ and U.S. Attorney's Office for the Eastern District of New York (collectively, the "Department") closed an investigation of the Insurance Corporation of Barbados Limited ("ICBL") concerning alleged violations of the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act ("FCPA").

In a letter to the attorney for ICBL, the Department stated that its investigation found that employees and agents of ICBL paid around $36,000 in bribes to a Barbadian government official in exchange for securing insurance contracts that resulted in roughly $687,000 in total premiums for the contracts and approximately $94,000 in net profits. The official, who was indicted by the DOJ earlier this month, allegedly laundered the money through a New York-based dental company.

In the letter, the Department stated that its decision to close the investigation was based on a number of factors including: ICBL's timely, voluntary self-disclosure of the alleged misconduct, ICBL's cooperation with the Department's investigation, ICBL's remedial efforts, and ICBL's agreement to disgorge roughly $94,000 to the U.S. Treasury.

ICBL is the first declination with disgorgement under the FCPA Corporate Enforcement Policy, which went into effect November 2017.

Commentary / James Treanor

The ICBL declination with disgorgement reaffirms that such resolutions are available to companies under the DOJ's November 2017 FCPA Enforcement Policy. The enticement of a declination from prosecution with no criminal penalty – even in cases where the DOJ finds that FCPA violations have occurred – represents one of the important "carrots" offered by the FCPA Enforcement Policy. It is a prize that is not easily grasped, however, being offered only in cases like that of ICBL, where a company voluntarily discloses an apparent offense, fully cooperates with the Department's investigation and appropriately remediates misconduct.

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