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Former DuPont Engineer Sentenced for Conspiracy to Sell Trade Secrets

On August 26, Robert Maegerle, a former engineer for DuPont, was sentenced to 2.5 years in prison for conspiring to sell trade secrets relating to the manufacture of titanium dioxide to Chinese government-owned companies.  Maegerle was found guilty by a jury last March, after a six-week trial.  Maegerle’s co-defendant, Walter Liew, used Maegerle’s experience in building titanium dioxide plants for DuPont to launch contracts with Chinese companies to build similar facilities in China.  United States
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Sentencing Commission Makes Revising White-Collar Guidelines a Priority

On August 14, the U.S. Sentencing Commission approved its list of priorities for the coming year.  Among the priorities identified was a consideration of changes to the sentencing guidelines for some white-collar crimes, especially “fraud on the market” cases, in which small losses are typically sustained by a large number of victims, making for large aggregate loss amounts. USSC Press Release.
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Second Circuit Rules that Dodd-Frank Whistleblower Protections Do Not Cover Tipsters Outside the United States

On August 14, a panel of the Second Circuit held that the Dodd-Frank Act’s whistleblower anti-retaliation provision does not apply extraterritorially.  The panel affirmed the dismissal of a complaint filed by Liu Meng-Lin, a Taiwanese national employed by Siemens China, who claimed that he was retaliated against for reporting internally that Siemens employees were indirectly making improper payments to officials in North Korea and China in connection with the sale of medical equipment in those
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Supreme Court Asked to Review FCPA Definition of “Foreign Official”

On August 14, a petition for certiorari was filed in the Supreme Court seeking review of United States v. Esquenazi, an Eleventh Circuit decision defining the term “instrumentality” of a foreign government under the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA).  The Eleventh Circuit had held on May 16, in the first opinion by a federal court of appeals defining this term, that an “instrumentality” is “an entity controlled by the government of a foreign country
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Associate Attorney General West Outlines DOJ’s Approach to RMBS Cases

On July 16, Associate Attorney General Tony West outlined the DOJ’s approach to resolving cases involving residential mortgage-backed securities (RMBS).  West noted that when deciding whether to settle or pursue civil RMBS cases against financial institutions, the DOJ looks to three principles:  accountability, transparency and redress.  West further stated that the Department would not hesitate to charge financial institutions for RMBS-related misconduct where the institution “is unwilling to admit its wrongful conduct . . .
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SDNY U.S. Attorney Predicts Criminal Charges Against, Guilty Pleas By Financial Institutions

On March 31, Preet Bharara, the U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of New York, emphasized the important deterrent effect of criminal prosecutions against corporate entities and predicted that “before too long a significant financial institution will be charged with a felony or made to plead guilty to a felony.”  Speaking at SIFMA’s Compliance and Legal Society Annual Seminar, Bharara noted that to effectively deter criminal conduct, both individuals and entities must be held accountable. 
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DOJ Opinion Release on Purchase of Minority Interest from Government Official

On March 17, the DOJ issued an FCPA Opinion Release addressing the intention of a U.S. financial services company and investment bank (“Requestor”), which is a majority shareholder of a foreign financial services company (“Foreign Company”), to purchase the remaining minority interest in Foreign Company from a foreign businessman (“Foreign Shareholder”) who became a senior government official more than four years after Foreign Shareholder sold his majority interest in Foreign Company to Requestor.  Requestor and
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