Wednesday, January 20, 2010

DOJ Serious About FCPA Violations!

In May last year, we mentioned that the government was ramping up its efforts to find and prosecute violators of the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA), so we’re back to report that the Department of Justice and FBI have been very busy!

While many government and private sector employees were off work for the Martin Luther King recognition day, the FBI arrested 22 executives and employees of military and law enforcement products companies. In addition, approximately 150 FBI agents executed 14 search warrants in all over the country, including Arkansas, Florida, and Kentucky. These persons have been indicted for engaging in a scheme to bribe foreign government officials to obtain and retain business. The scheme was actually part of an undercover operation in which the accused agreed to pay a commission to a sales agent believed to represent a government official in Africa in order to win a portion of a contract to furnish goods to the country’s presidential guard. Would you like to know if anyone you know was involved? Click
HERE to view the list of defendants and locations. Copies of the indictments are also available for viewing on the DOJ web site. The maximum prison sentence for the conspiracy county and for each FCPA count is five years. The maximum sentence for money laundering conspiracy is 20 years in prison.

This is another wakeup call for anyone considering bribing a government official. Don’t do it!

The FCPA prohibits corrupt payments to foreign officials for the purpose of obtaining or keeping business. The provisions of the FCPA make it unlawful for a U.S. person to make a corrupt payment to a foreign official for the purpose of obtaining or retaining business for or with, or directing business to, any person. The provisions also apply to foreign firms and persons who take any act in furtherance of such a corrupt payment while in the United States. The purpose of the FCPA is to eliminate bribery of foreign officials, restore the public confidence in the integrity of American business, and change the way American firms do business.

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