Article Title

Examining The JPMorgan “Princeling” Settlement: Insight Into Current Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA) Interpretation and Enforcement

Publication Title

Washington University Global Studies Law Review


Shortly after the November 2016 U.S. Presidential election, JP Morgan Chase and JP Morgan Securities (Asia Pacific) settled and signed a non-prosecution agreement (NPA) in which they agreed to pay over $264 million to the DOJ, SEC and the Federal Reserve. The entities acknowledged that they had engaged in quid pro quo arrangements with Chinese officials for a number of years, employing relatives deemed “princelings” in return for favored treatment. Although JP Morgan Chase had ended the program in 2013, evidence of willful and widespread violations of the FCPA resulted in little prosecutorial credit. We examine this and other recent “princeling” cases and declinations, analyzing as well both the legal context of the very few litigated FCPA cases and recent corruption and insider trading cases for insight and guidance. We also consider the current political environment and assess its impact on FCPA enforcement. We conclude with lessons for companies trying to aggressively pursue business while complying with the law.