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Whistleblower’s Claims That Sempra Energy Bribed Mexican Officials May Have Dodd-Frank Implications

November 15, 2010

Emails stating simply: “have cash,” payments to Mexican officials, the eviction of a Mexican landowner, and a $1.5 billion liquified natural gas plant adjacent to the evicted man’s land are the subject of a recent wrongful termination lawsuit. Sempra Energy is a publicly-traded utility company in southern California, serving nearly 25 million customers worldwide, according to their website. The pending lawsuit brought by a former comptroller of the company claims wrongful termination as a result of questioning alleged corporate greed and bribery. The bribery allegations are particularly noteworthy, because they could be one of the first test cases under the whistleblower provisions of the Dodd-Frank Act. The passage of the Dodd-Frank Act earlier this year opened the door for whistleblowers to share in recoveries by the SEC for a host of securities violations, including violations of the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act, which makes it illegal for any publicly-traded company to bribe foreign officials.

To report securities fraud, contact Frohsin & Barger.

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