As the stock option backdating cases wind down, what will be the next corporate scandal to gain widespread notoriety?
It is always difficult to predict what alleged misdeeds will be front page news in the coming years, but many believe that Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (“FCPA”) violations may be this year’s corporate crime of the century.
The FCPA was enacted in 1977. But it was rarely enforced throughout the 1980s and 1990s. Now, in recent years, the Department of Justice and the Securities and Exchange Commission have picked up the pace of enforcement. The average number of FCPA criminal prosecutions and civil enforcement actions increased fourfold over the last five years compared to the previous five years, and the average fine for corporate violators has steadily increased over the last several years.
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