Houston-based Hyperdynamics Corp. announced in an 8-K filed on May 26 that the DOJ had closed its investigation into alleged FCPA violations by the company in the Republic of Guinea. A parallel investigation by the SEC remains ongoing. The DOJ investigation was originally disclosed by the company in 2013, and was stated to relate to concession rights and relationships with charitable organizations.
The investigation and declination raise two notable issues. First, the investigation into relationships with charitable organizations continues the government’s focus on the potential use of charitable organizations to influence acts of foreign officials. Second, the declination letter from the DOJ to Hyperdynamics was released by the company and noted its “cooperation with investigations,” including through providing information and the results of the company’s internal investigation to the government, as well as how much the DOJ values cooperation. Recent speeches by the DOJ have sought to reassure companies that extensive cooperation can theoretically result in a declination.