A letter sent by the Department of Justice to Akamai Technologies reveals that the Internet services provider will not face an enforcement action in connection with a previously disclosed investigation into potential violations of the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act, citing the FCPA Pilot Program. The declination came in the same week that the company entered into a non-prosecution agreement with the SEC.
In its letter, the Justice Department informed the company on June 6 that it had closed its investigation into the matter. “Consistent with the FCPA Pilot Program, we have reached this conclusion despite the bribery by an employee of the company’s subsidiary in China and one of that subsidiary’s channel partners, based on a number of factors,” the Justice Department said in the letter.
According to the letter, those factors include, but are not limited to:
Akamai’s prompt voluntary self-disclosure of the misconduct;
The thorough investigation and fulsome cooperation by the company, including by identifying all individuals involved in, or responsible, for the misconduct, and by providing all facts relating to that misconduct to the Department, and its agreement to continue to cooperate in any ongoing investigations of individuals;
The steps Akamai has taken to enhance its compliance program and its internal accounting controls;
Akamai’s full remediation, including promptly suspending at the start of the investigation the individual involved in the China misconduct, who then resigned shortly thereafter, terminating the relationship with the channel partner involved in the misconduct, and disciplining five other employees who should have prevented other violations of the company’s policies; and
The fact that Akamai will be disgorging to the SEC the full amount of disgorgement as determined by the SEC.
“If additional information or evidence should be made available to us in the future, we may reopen our inquiry,” the Justice Department said. A copy of the letter, citing the FCPA Pilot Program, can be found here.
As Compliance Week previously reported, Akamai yesterday entered into a non-prosecution agreement (NPA) with the SEC, agreeing to pay $652,452 in disgorgement plus $19,433 in interest. The NPA stipulates that the company is not charged with violations of the FCPA and will not pay additional monetary penalties.
According to the SEC, Akamai’s foreign subsidiary arranged $40,000 in payments to induce government-owned entities to purchase more services than they actually needed. Employees at the foreign subsidiary violated the company’s written policies by providing improper gift cards, meals, and entertainment to officials at these state-owned entities to build business relationships.
“Regulators are sending a clear message that companies that self-report and cooperate extensively can reach a swift resolution under the right circumstances,” says Kim Nemirow, a partner at law firm Ropes & Gray, who represented Akamai. “Akamai’s resolution also demonstrates the significant credit companies can receive from conducting a targeted and efficient investigation, and from taking important remedial measures, all steps that Akamai took.”