Friday, June 6, 2008
Who gets prosecuted, who gets a deferred prosecution agreement, and better yet - who gets a non-prosecution agreement? Prosecutorial discretion plays an enormous role in answering this question. And in many ways this is good when prosecutors are factoring in human aspects such as trying to avoid harm to innocent third parties. But many in the world would like the guidance of how to better their case to receive the least damaging result to their company when conduct within the company crosses the line.
Continuing to provide transparency to the process appears to be the best way to discern the nuances that allow for the differing results. But this can be difficult.
DOJ just announced in a press release the agreement by Faro Technologies Inc. to a non-prosecution agreement. "Faro Technologies Inc. (Faro), a public company that specializes in computerized measurement devices and software, agreed to pay a $1.1 million criminal penalty in connection with corrupt payments to Chinese government officials in violation of the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA)." The non-prosecution agreement has a two year term and includes an agreement for an independent corporate monitor.
On its website, the company describes the resolution of this matter and also notes that "[w]ith approximately 17,000 installations and 7,600 customers globally, FARO Technologies, Inc. designs, develops, and markets portable, computerized measurement devices and software used to create digital models -- or to perform evaluations against an existing model -- for anything requiring highly detailed 3-D measurements, including part and assembly inspection, factory planning and asset documentation, as well as specialized applications ranging from surveying, recreating accident sites and crime scenes to digitally preserving historical sites." (see here)
As with so many white collar matters, there is also a parellel proceeding here. "[T]he Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) today instituted a settled enforcement action against Faro. Faro consented to the entry of a cease and desist order and agreed to pay approximately $1.85 million in disgorgement and prejudgment interest . . ." (see also SEC here)