What Is The Foreign Corrupt Practices Act? How Does It Apply?
The Foreign Corrupt Practices Act is a fairly old statute under US law but it’s become more trendy and popular recently because we live in such a globalized world. It basically prohibits the giving of a thing of value to a foreign person in exchange for a business advantage. This is something that is being used more and more against multinational corporations. Some are US based; some are not US based. It does not require the offender to be a US citizen and it does not require the business to be located in the United States. If the transactions occur in US dollars and it goes through the US banking system, there is jurisdiction and they can be held responsible.
What Are The Elements Of Bribery Under The FCPA?
Bribery is giving something of value to a foreign official in exchange for some business advantage.
Does The FCPA Apply Only When Money Is Given To A Foreign Official?
Giving money to a foreign official is a clear violation of the statute. It doesn’t necessarily has to involve a foreign official but it has to be related to some foreign official’s role.
If We Are Involved In Obtaining Permits From A Foreign Country, Are We Allowed To Pay For a Foreign Official’s Expenses?
If you give a foreign official a credit card to pay for all of their meals or whatever they want because you are getting permits from them, that is a violation. If you offer to pay for a business dinner, that is not.
What Are FCPA Risks That We should Look Out For?
The FCPA risks are really quite great. People say that everybody does business like this in whichever country is at hand. While that may be true, if you get caught doing it and another corporation doesn’t, you are going to be held responsible. That’s the biggest risk.
What Is At Stake If FCPA IS Violated?
The Foreign Corrupt Practices Act is a federal statute. Like many other offenses on the federal level, it is driven by the amount of money involved and the level of activity that is involved. Everything is at stake; your business is at stake, your freedom is at stake, your reputation is at stake, and your ability to conduct future business is at stake.
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