Richard Bistrong | Contributing Editor
Richard Bistrong spent his career as an international sales executive and currently consults, writes and speaks on foreign bribery and compliance issues from that front-line perspective.
He was named to Compliance Week’s list of Top Minds in 2017 and was one of Ethisphere’s 100 Most Influential in Business Ethics in 2015.
Richard was the vice president of international sales for a large, publicly traded defense supplier, which included residing in the UK and extensive overseas travel.
In 2007, as part of a cooperation agreement with the U.S. Department of Justice and subsequent Immunity from Prosecution in the UK, Richard assisted the U.S., UK, and other governments in understanding how FCPA and other bribery and export violations occurred in international sales.
In 2012, after the collapse of the Africa Sting prosecution, Richard was sentenced as part of his own plea agreement, and served fourteen-and-a-half months at a U.S. federal prison camp.
He holds an MA in Foreign Affairs from the University of Virginia.
Richard writes about current anti-bribery and compliance issues at www.richardbistrong.com. Information about his consulting practice, Front-Line Anti-Bribery LLC, can also be found on that website.
In a New York Times op-ed, former assistant U.S. attorney Eric Havian recommended using better methods to deter corporate misbehavior. “Exclusion,” he said, “needs to be dusted off, modernized and used more frequently.”
I wrote Bribing not to lose for the FCPA Blog because I wanted to share what crosses the mind of someone on the front-lines of international business when confronting bribery in the field. By reflecting on my own illegal conduct, I hope to encourage compliance leaders to calibrate their programs to real-world situations.
I heard about the International Anti-Corruption Academy through Andy Spalding’s posts on the FCPA Blog, where he wrote about his work with the IACA in Vienna. A school for mid-career anti-corruption professionals seemed like an idea that could have a tremendous real-world impact.
When a TV news anchor asked me the difference between the alleged bribery scheme involving former U.N. General Assembly President John Ashe and my own, where I was charged with conspiring to bribe a UN official from 2001 until 2006, I said that from an investigatory perspective, they were opposites.
A few months ago someone asked me why I hide my drug addiction in my current work. Well, I don’t, and if you have ever attended one of my talks, it’s something that I often address.
When I was asked last week during a TV interview if I once believed I could do wrong with impunity, I responded, “I never thought about getting caught.” Now, almost ten years after my last criminal act, comes the Yates Memo.