Real Estate Broker Charged by SEC with FCPA Violations

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Foreign Corrupt Practices Act

The Securities and Exchange Commission charged a New Jersey real estate broker for attempting to bribe a foreign official for a transaction in Southeast Asia. The former real estate broker was working for Colliers International Group, Inc, at the time.

Per the SEC’s order, Joo Hyun Bahn attempted to bribe a foreign official of a country in the Middle East while brokering the sale of Landmark 72, a high-rise commercial building in Vietnam.

The SEC’s order determined that Bahn gave the bribe to an accomplice. The expectation was that Bahn’s co-conspirator would pass the bribe along to the foreign official.

However, Bahn’s supposed trusted accomplice kept the money for himself. In fact, the foreign official was never even aware of the attempted bribe.

The SEC charged Bahn for violating the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA).

Accounting Disaster 

The SEC’s order also found that Bahn attempted to circumvent Colliers’ internal accounting controls. He did so by fabricating documents, creating fictitious email messages and lying to Colliers executives.