Charles Connolly Quoted by Bloomberg News on Petrobras Probe

In the Bloomberg News article “Petrobras Corruption Investigation Said to Ramp Up in U.S.,” Akin Gump litigation partner Charles Connolly is quoted on the justification for U.S. authorities to investigate non-U.S. companies.

The article follows the probe by the Justice Department and the Securities and Exchange Commission of Petrobras, Brazil’s state-run oil company, over allegations of international bribery. Authorities in the United States, according to the article, have been speaking with their counterparts in Brazil exchanging documents and other information.

A case against Petrobras and other public companies could be brought in Virginia because filings with the SEC are sent to a server located in the state, said Connolly, a former federal prosecutor. He said that has allowed prosecutors in the past to bring cases against non-U.S. companies under the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act, such as one against French oil company Total SA in 2013. Total SA paid $398 million in penalties to settle bribery allegations. “It allows the Department of Justice on a securities fraud theory to get venue over a company whose ties to the U.S. are the filings it makes,” Connolly noted.