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.
At an event last week in London, one of my co-panelists was Brian Saulnier, a partner at K&L Gates. More than ten years ago he was part of an outside team, engaged by my former employer, to look into my illegal conduct, including the United Nations bribery investigation, among other allegations.
The FCPA Blog recently asked, Why do normal employees violate the FCPA? As a sales executive who formerly considered himself to be one of those “normal” employees, that’s a question I’ve struggled to answer.
Mastercard took compliance training to a new level when they engaged a production company to depict chapters of my FCPA violations, eventual guilty plea, and sentencing to fourteen and a half months in prison.
Two great recent posts on the FCPA Blog talked about the heavy demands on compliance professionals generated by the global regulatory patchwork.
How do compliance officers get to know what they don’t know, especially in places where values are challenged, where local practices conflict with the rules, and where the line between what’s a permissible activity and what’s a violation can look blurry?
When I started blogging in 2014, there was little discussion about how issues like financial pressures and “micro-cultures” could impact decision making that can lead us astray.
In preparing for three days of in-house workshops, Angélique Parisot-Potter, the general counsel of the Massy Group, said to me, “We like stories here in the Caribbean, so be sure to share some.”
Companies often ask me to record video for internal training. They want real-world stories of corruption and commerce which they can embed into existing on-line anti-bribery compliance training.