Philadelphia partner Mary Hansen was quoted in a CQ Roll Call story titled, “SEC testing boundaries of anti-bribery authority.” The article discussed the Securities and Exchange Commission’s efforts to stop undue influence of foreign officials.
The SEC has begun to stretch the definition of “value” in order to unmask corruption. Recently, the agency accused BNY Mellon of giving student internships to relatives of foreign government officials with the intention of retaining the Middle Eastern sovereign wealth fund’s business.
Mary, who spent eight years as an enforcement attorney at the SEC, said that the expansion of the term into internships, while probably “not anticipated” by lawmakers, seems a natural outgrowth as the SEC becomes more determined to bring such cases. She said that part of this motivation comes from foreign governments’ increased willingness to cooperate with SEC investigations.