Its jurisdictional reach is legendary, but understanding exactly why the FCPA’s coverage stretches so far and wide is not always easy. One explanation comes from the United States Attorneys’ Manual, in this clear and sometimes ominous exposition:
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Under the FCPA, U.S.
Textron Inc., without admitting or denying books and records and internal controls allegations, consented to the entry of a final judgment with the SEC permanently enjoining it from future violations of Sections 13(b)(2)(A) and 13(b)(2)(B) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, ordering it to disgorge $2,284,579 in profits, plus $450,461.68 in pre-judgment interest, and to pay a civil penalty of $800,000.… Continue Reading
“There are moral problems as well as legal problems that go far beyond simply the question of illegal payoffs to foreign officials.
“There are questions concerning the role of multinational corporations, the extent to which they have obligations to the countries in which they conduct their business, the extent to which they should seek to raise the standards of conduct there, the respect which they should show the laws of other countries.… Continue Reading
The press is reporting that the Department of Justice on August 21, 2007 appealed the dismissal of FCPA charges against three men in connection with a bribery scheme in Azerbaijan.
On June 21, 2007, the U.S.… Continue Reading
“Small Organizations.—In meeting the requirements [for an effective compliance program under the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines], small organizations shall demonstrate the same degree of commitment to ethical conduct and compliance with the law as large organizations.… Continue Reading
“An Overview of the Organizational Guidelines” from the United States Sentencing Commission’s May 2004 release includes the following jaw-dropping statement:
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Criminal liability can attach to an organization whenever an employee of the organization commits an act within the apparent scope of his or her employment, even if the employee acted directly contrary to company policy and instructions.
February 6, 2007 — The DOJ reports Vetco’s admission that payments to Nigerian Customs Officials violated the FCPA. The DOJ says, “These corrupt payments were paid through a major international freight forwarding and customs clearance company to employees of the Nigerian Customs Service, and coordinated largely through Vetco Gray Controls Inc.’s… Continue Reading
The FCPA’s promotional expenses affirmative defense is used as a basis to pay for overseas trips by foreign officials. It allows payment or reimbursement of expenses that are directly related to “the promotion, demonstration, or explanation of products or services.”… Continue Reading
There are strict requirements for Facilitating Payments — the one exception written into the FCPA. Among other things, the payment must be for “routine governmental action . . . which is ordinarily and commonly performed by a foreign official.”… Continue Reading