2010 is promising to be a banner year for enforcement of the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act ("FCPA"). In mid-January of this year, the DOJ unsealed sixteen indictments charging twenty-two individuals with violations of the FCPA's anti-bribery provisions. A few weeks later, in early February, British defense industry giant, BAE Systems plc ("BAE"), announced that it would plead guilty to one charge of conspiring to make false statements to the U.S. Government regarding its ongoing compliance with the FCPA. In connection with its guilty plea, BAE also agreed to pay a $400 million penalty. Notably, the DOJ did not allege that BAE violated the FCPA or that BAE executives willfully looked the other way while their agents or subordinates violated the Act. Instead, the crux of the DOJ’s case appears to be that BAE failed to install a compliance system capable of detecting FCPA violations in the first place.
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