Along with the anti-bribery provisions, the U.S. Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (“FCPA”) contains accounting provisions that apply to publicly traded companies. These provisions require that companies maintain and adhere to internal policies that manage risk and ensure that accurate financial records are maintained. There is no bribery requirement for there to be a violation of these provisions. There is also no foreign conduct requirement. All that is required is that a company have a policy in-place and circumvent that policy to obtain some business advantage (no matter how small). The Securities and Exchange Commission (“SEC”) often initiates investigations based on allegations of foreign bribery, but resorts to the accounting provisions when the alleged bribe cannot be proven (because an internal policy violation can almost always be found and the SEC does not want a company to get off scot-free).
Continue Reading FCPA Accounting Provisions Have Teeth: Halliburton to Pay $29.2 Million to Settle FCPA Charges

On August 15, 2013, the Ontario Superior Court found Canadian national Nazir Karigar guilty of conspiring to offer a bribe to Indian government officials under the Corruption of Foreign Public Officials Act (“CFPOA”). The CFPOA makes it an offense to directly or indirectly give or offer a loan, reward, advantage or benefit of any kind to a foreign public official in order to obtain or retain an advantage in the course of business.
Continue Reading Canada’s First Foreign Bribery Conviction Shows Trend in Increased Enforcement

By John Hynes

We regularly report on Foreign Corrupt Practices Act ("FCPA") developments and have furnished subscribers with a primer on the FCPA. As expected, 2012 has proven to be yet another busy year for the government in enforcing the FCPA. This article highlights some of the most important recent developments in the anti-corruption and FCPA enforcement world, while a more comprehensive update can be found here.


Continue Reading FCPA and Anti-Corruption Enforcement Update: April – September 2012

By Alison Kleaver and Joseph Barton

One of the goals of the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (“FCPA”) is to prevent U.S. companies and individuals from paying bribes to foreign officials in exchange for business. To this end, the FCPA prohibits any domestic individual or business entity from making payments to a “foreign official” for the purpose of obtaining or retaining business. 15 U.S.C. § 78dd-2(a)(1). However, who, precisely, qualifies as a “foreign official” is the subject of much uncertainty. In particular, whether employees of a state-owned company qualify as foreign officials for purposes of FCPA is an area of great concern—and potential liability—particularly for U.S. companies doing business in Latin America where governments often have at least some level of involvement in various business sectors from education to utilities to health care.


Continue Reading Meaning Of FCPA’s “Foreign Official” Causes Uncertainty For Companies Doing Business Abroad

By John M. Hynes

In the past, we have reported on a number of Foreign Corrupt Practices Act ("FCPA") developments and have furnished subscribers with a primer on the FCPA. The latest developments in this area relate to an investigation of the motion picture industry and its activities in China.

On April 26, 2012, Reuters reported that the US Securities and Exchange Commission ("SEC") recently sent letters of inquiry to several prominent movie studios seeking information about their dealings in China that may constitute violations of the FCPA. Later reports indicate that the letters were sent to Twentieth Century Fox, Paramount Pictures, Sony Pictures, Universal Pictures, Walt Disney Studios, Warner Bros., and Dreamworks Animation.


Continue Reading FCPA Industry Sweep Strikes Hollywood

By Joseph Barton

On May 2, 2012, Federal agents with the Department of Justice’s (“DOJ”) special task force made the biggest Medicare bust in U.S. history, and a splash in the media, when it cracked down on a number of unrelated Medicare fraud schemes across the country that resulted in an alleged $450 million in false claims being submitted to Medicare over the past six years. A total of 107 people were arrested, including doctors, nurses, social workers, office managers, and patient recruiters. Charges ranged from submitting false billing for home healthcare, mental health services, HIV infusions, and physical therapy, to money laundering and receiving kickbacks.


Continue Reading The Federal Government Takes Aim at Medicare Fraud

By John M. Hynes

On November 1, 2011, Transparency International (“TI”) released its 2011 Bribe Payers Index (“BPI”), which ranks the countries whose companies are most likely to engage in bribery when doing business abroad. The BPI can serve as an important tool for companies in their efforts to avoid violations of the United States Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (“FCPA”).


Continue Reading The 2011 Bribe Payers Index: Another Important FCPA Compliance Tool

By Thaddeus McBride & Cheryl Palmeri

On October 26, 2011, Joel Esquenazi was sentenced to 15 years in prison for committing and conspiring to commit both money laundering and violations of the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (“FCPA”). Esquenazi is the former president of Terra Telecommunications Corporation (“Terra”), an international telecommunications company. According to the U.S. Department of Justice (“DOJ”), this is the longest prison sentence yet imposed in a case involving the FCPA.


Continue Reading Longest Prison Sentence Yet in FCPA Case

By Neil Ray

The U.K. Bribery Act 2010 (the “Act”) represents a fundamental reform of the U.K. anti-bribery regime and greatly expands the potential legal exposure of companies and individuals that do business, including practice of a trade or profession, in the U.K. For example, it criminalizes purely private bribery with no involvement of a government official and creates a new corporate offence of “failing to prevent” bribery. These offences are subject to unlimited fines and a 10-year maximum prison sentence for individuals. The Act bears some similarity to its U.S. counter-part, the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (“FCPA”), but is in general stricter and broader. Accordingly, companies with business operations in the U.K. must not assume that even robust FCPA compliance programs will assure compliance with the requirements of the Act.
 


Continue Reading The Long Arm Of The Crown: New U.K. Anti-Bribery Law Reaches Private Sector Bribery And Creates Offence Of “Failing To Prevent” Bribery

In United States v. Hoffman, 556 F.3d 871 (2009), the appellate court upheld a gratuities conviction based on an indictment alleging that the defendant had given a Government employee a set of golf clubs for or because of that Government employee’s role in rating the contractor’s performance under a contract with the United States Army Corps of Engineers. The court’s opinion illustrates a number of key points regarding the gratuities statute and the types of conduct that create the risk of a gratuities violation.
 


Continue Reading When “Generosity” Becomes a Vice: Eighth Circuit Affirms Gratuities Conviction Based on Email Correspondence Between Contractor and Government Employee