Department Of Justice And BAE Systems’ $400 Million Settlement Continues Trend Of Increased FCPA Enforcement

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On March 1, 2010, BAE Systems, one of the largest military defense contractors in both Europe and the United States, pleaded guilty in U.S. federal court in the District of Columbia to one count of conspiracy to make false statements that impaired and impeded the lawful functions of the United States government. Specifically, through its guilty plea, BAE admitted that it made false statements about its implementation of and commitment to a Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA) compliance program. In addition, BAE admitted that it failed to identify commissions paid to promote the sale of its defense goods in applications for export licenses as required by the Arms Export Control Act. BAE agreed to pay a $400 million criminal fine, one of the largest-ever FCPA related settlements, to end the long-running investigations into alleged improper payments to foreign officials to secure lucrative defense contracts. BAE also agreed to certain reporting requirements and to retain an independent compliance monitor for a period of three years.

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