James Koukios spoke to the Anti-Corruption Report about the recent settlement by Herbalife Nutrition Ltd. with the U.S. Securities Exchange Commission and the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) over Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA) charges.

“Unlike in the Avon resolution, which is a good case for comparison, the Chinese subsidiary here did not have to plead guilty,” said James.

The DOJ's willingness to forego a guilty plea by Herbalife's Chinese subsidiary “might be because, unlike in Avon, DOJ criminally charged the two executives who were most directly responsible for the alleged FCPA violations,” he explained.

That decision by the DOJ just to pursue a books-and-records charge “against the parent company is largely consistent with the Avon resolution and the nature of the alleged misconduct (gifts, travel and entertainment abuses rather than grand corruption), but it is still notable given the anti-bribery charges brought against the Chinese executives,” James said.

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Originally published by Morrison Foerster, September 2020

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