Hands across the water

Author: | Published: 11 Jul 2011

The US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) recently entered into its first ever deferred prosecution agreement (DPA) with Tenaris, a Luxembourg steel pipe manufacturer, in connection with allegations that Tenaris violated the US Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA) by bribing Uzbekistan government officials.

The US Department of Justice simultaneously announced that it had entered into a non-prosecution agreement with Tenaris under which the company would pay a $3.5 million penalty.

The SEC's DPA with Tenaris is an important milestone in the agency's efforts to foster cooperation under its recent cooperation initiative, and the DPA is a significant development for foreign issuers and others to consider when navigating an SEC enforcement investigation or determining whether to self-report a potential US securities law violation to the SEC.

A broad initiative The SEC's DPA with Tenaris is the result of its cooperation initiative announced in early 2010, which built upon the analytical framework...