Fraud Investigation and the UK Bribery Act

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We were recently introduced to Fraud Examiner Expert Tracy Coenen, in her book “Expert Fraud Investigation: A Step-By-Step Guide” she details the steps a company should go through in performing a fraud investigation. Coenen provides the ‘nuts and bolts’ on how conducting an investigation can be a powerful tool to help corporations ferret out fraudulent practices within their organization. Her book gives the examiner the specific steps to take when fraud is suspected and how to proceed forward throughout the investigation to conclusion. In addition to the book as a useful tool for the fraud examiner, Coenen also provides the lay person with a general discussion of the types of corruption schemes a company may face and how best to prevent them. Coenen lists bribery; kickbacks; extortion; conflict of interests; and related party transactions as examples of corruption which can involve a payment to obtain an advantage, receive preferential treatment, or force certain preferential actions.

Many compliance and ethics practitioners have long understood that these types of schemes are illegal under the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA) in connection with foreign governments and foreign governmental officials, but many FCPA compliance practitioners in the US may not have focused on these types of schemes when they involve private, non-governmental actors, outside the US. However, with the upcoming April 1, 2011 effective date of the UK Bribery Act, such practitioners may well be served to revise their company policies to take into account that the UK Bribery Act prohibitions apply to private actors equally as well as governmental officials. Based upon this difference in the pubic actor v. private actor distinction between the FCPA and UK Bribery Act, this post will review the different types of corruption schemes that Coenen outlines in her book.

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DISCLAIMER: Because of the generality of this update, the information provided herein may not be applicable in all situations and should not be acted upon without specific legal advice based on particular situations.

© Thomas Fox, Compliance Evangelist | Attorney Advertising

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