Juniper Networks’s FCPA Settlement

Vinson & Elkins represented Juniper’s Audit Committee.

A multi-office team of Vinson & Elkins represented Juniper’s Audit Committee made up of outside board directors. The independent review was announced by Juniper in its public filings in 2013. The initial inquiry related to marketing activities and travel in Russia based on potential violations of the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act.

The inquiry then spread to marketing activities in China based on whistleblower allegations. According to the SEC’s order, certain employees of the Russian subsidiary agreed with third party distributors to fund leisure trips for customers through use of off book accounts. The order further asserts that certain employees of the Chinese subsidiaries falsified trip and meeting agendas for customer events to understate the amount of entertainment involved in the trip.

On August 29, 2019, the Securities & Exchange Commission (“SEC”) announced a settlement with Juniper Networks settling various investigations involving the Silicon Valley technology company. Under the settlement, Juniper—without having to admit culpability—agreed to pay $11.7 million in disgorgement, fines and interest to the government relating to alleged record keeping violations.

The SEC made no allegations of bribery, only books and records and controls violations, and as noted, Juniper was not required to admit or deny culpability as part of the resolution. Meanwhile, a previously active DOJ investigation closed without any criminal or civil actions being undertaken against the company or its employees.

One of the key reasons why such a favorable resolution was reached was the extensive cooperation and remedial measures undertaken by the company under the direction of the Audit Committee, advised by V&E. The government specifically cited this cooperation and remediation in announcing the settlement. Even though the company did not self disclose before V&E was involved, Juniper’s cooperation along with the enhancement of its controls were important demonstrations of the company’s commitment to having an effective compliance program.

The V&E Government Investigations team representing the Audit Committee was led by partners Matt Jacobs (Picture), Jessica Heim, Clifford Thau, Amy Riella and Michael Charlson, counsel Marisa Antos-Fallon and senior associate Jessica Spradling Kelman.

Involved fees earner: Marisa Antos-Fallon – Vinson & Elkins LLP; Michael Charlson – Vinson & Elkins LLP; Jessica Heim – Vinson & Elkins LLP; Matthew Jacobs – Vinson & Elkins LLP; Amy Lamoureux Riella – Vinson & Elkins LLP; Jessica Spradling Kelman – Vinson & Elkins LLP; Clifford Thau – Vinson & Elkins LLP;

Law Firms: Vinson & Elkins LLP;

Clients: Juniper Networks Inc.;

Author: Ambrogio Visconti