Travel Act: buttressing the FCPA

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Originally published in the San Francisco Daily Journal on October 1, 2012.

Much attention has been given to the Department of Justice’s investigation and prosecution of overseas corruption under the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA) — and deservedly so. In 2011, the DOJ collected over a half-billion dollars in FCPA penalties and disgorgement, marking four consecutive years in which collections exceeded that amount — including the record amount of $1.8 billion in 2010.

As the DOJ has made clear, however, the FCPA is not the only statute at its disposal for prosecuting overseas corruption. U.S. companies should be familiar not only with the FCPA, but also with the mail and wire fraud statutes. 18 U.S.C. Sections 1341 and 1343. Companies should also be familiar with the Travel Act. 18 U.S.C. Section 1952. When combined with the FCPA, the DOJ has used the Travel Act to reach both public and commercial bribery abroad.

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