Foreign Corrupt Practices Act Enforcement 2016: In Like a Lamb, Out Like a Lion
In 2015, the U.S. Government significantly bolstered its resources dedicated to combat international corporate bribery under the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act ("FCPA"). By announcing the addition of a team of FCPA-dedicated prosecutors, plus three new squads of investigators and the use of a data-driven, crime-prediction approach, the Government doubled down on its effort to root out international corporate corruption. This year, those resources will be tested as the Government seeks to show return on its investment.
The FCPA, jointly enforced by the United States Department of Justice ("DoJ") and Securities and Exchange Commission ("SEC"), prohibits bribery of foreign government officials for the purpose of obtaining or retaining business. The FCPA is applicable to U.S. citizens and entities and foreign companies with certain ties to the United States. In addition, the Government views its jurisdiction over non-U.S. companies and individuals expansively. Foreign companies and individuals who do not themselves violate the FCPA may still be convicted of conspiring with a domestic entity to violate the FCPA—even if the foreign company or individual did not act in furtherance of the violation while in the United States.
Both the DoJ and SEC have signaled that 2016 will be an active year for FCPA enforcement actions. Below are five observations for what 2016 may hold in store, and what you can do now to be ready.
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