Foreign Official

News & Analysis as of

Recent SEC Settlement Demonstrates FCPA Risks from Charitable Contributions

For just the second time in the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act’s (FCPA) history, a company was charged with FCPA offenses based solely on a charitable contribution that was intended to buy the influence of a foreign...more

FCPA Compliance: Does “Anything of Value” Really Mean “Anything of Value”?

The FCPA statute is not as vague as some contend. I remember the words of a former FTC Chairperson who told me once – “The Clayton Act is not vague. I just read the law and apply it to the facts.”...more

Three Key Questions to Ask in Hiring of Family Members of Foreign Officials

One of the top academic commentators in the anti-corruption space is Matthew C. Stephenson, co-founder of the Global Anticorruption Blog. I was intrigued by Stephenson’s piece, entitled “Does an FCPA Violation Require a Quid...more

LATAM/LAN FCPA Enforcement Action, Part I-Some Questions

What is the cost of a Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA) violation? One subset of that question is what is the cost of not cooperating and not remediating during the pendency of such investigations? Those were two of the...more

Froome Ends Tour With Win; JP Morgan to End Sons and Daughters Case?

I begin today’s post with a tip of the (cycling) helmet to Englishman Chris Froome who yesterday won his third Tour de France championship. Froome overcame a great many obstacles, not the least of which was being involved a...more

Doing Business Outside Of The US – Does Your Company Have An FCPA Policy? – The Perils Of International Bribery

The Foreign Corrupt Practices Act of 1977 (15 U.S.C. § 78dd-1, et seq.), more popularly known as the “FCPA,” is a powerful tool that the U.S. Department of Justice uses to police international bribery in the business context....more

If I could turn back prosecutorial time...

The case of R v AIL, GH and RH, one of the first the Court of Appeal has considered in 2016, is an interesting one from the perspective of all white-collar crime practitioners. The Court of Appeal had to consider whether it...more

Information shared by World Bank Group with RCMP protected from disclosure

Corruption crosses borders and anti-corruption efforts require cooperation - On April 29, 2016, the Supreme Court of Canada released its much anticipated decision in World Bank Group v. Wallace. The decision highlights...more

Visiting Canada? Better Pack Your eTA or Visa!

Canada has a new entry requirement. Effective March 15, 2016, visa-exempt foreign nationals must now have an Electronic Travel Authorization (eTA) to fly to or transit through Canada. A result of the Perimeter Security and...more

Supreme Court Sustains Protections for World Bank Information Sharing

On April 29, 2016, the Supreme Court of Canada ruled unanimously in World Bank Group v. Wallace that documents from World Bank Group investigations remain immune from document production requests that are part of domestic...more

Avoiding the “Al Capone” version of an FCPA enforcement action—Are your internal controls in order?

Notorious gangster Al Capone likely was guilty of numerous crimes, including bootlegging, maintaining a house of prostitution, bribery, racketeering and multiple counts of murder. Yet he was never convicted of those crimes. ...more

Improved U.S. - Cuba Relations Create Potential FCPA Risks for U.S. Companies Looking to Do Business There

The normalization of relations between the United States and Cuba offers potential lucrative business opportunities for companies that are prepared to meet Cuba’s unique corruption risks. On December 17, 2014, President...more

Doing Business in Cuba Under the FCPA, Part IV

I continue my exploration of some of the issues around doing business in Cuba, from the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA) perspective. Today I want to consider the types of ownership structures that are currently in place...more

Doing Business in China Should Be “Scary”

Lauren Connell, Managing Associate at The Volkov Law Group, joins us again for another posting on corruption risks in China. A little fear is healthy. It will keep you vigilant and aware. At this point if corporate...more

SEC Settlement Sends a Strong Message to Companies: Treat Princelings and Commoners Alike, or Pay Dearly

On March 1, 2016, the SEC announced that Qualcomm Incorporated, a San Diego-based wireless telecommunication product company, agreed to pay $7.5 million to settle charges that its actions violated the Foreign Corrupt...more

Foreign Corrupt Practices Act Alert

Busy Q1 Yields Several Significant FCPA Resolutions - Overview - On February 19, during the US Securities and Exchange Commission’s (SEC) annual “SEC Speaks” conference, Kara Brockmeyer, Chief of the SEC’s FCPA...more

RCMP Terminates CFPOA Investigation Following Voluntary Disclosure

The Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) has concluded an investigation into matters arising from a voluntary disclosure by Nordion Inc. (“Nordion”). In 2012, the company disclosed to the RCMP, the United States Securities...more

Historic Bribery Of Agents Of Foreign Principals Will Not Go Unpunished

Bribery of an agent or official of a foreign body has been a crime in the UK since 1906. Previous uncertainty had led to amendments in 2002 to clarify the foreign scope of bribery offences. However, the case of R v Ail, GH &...more

India Supreme Court Rules that Private Bankers Operating in India Are “Public Servants,” Significantly Expanding Anti-Corruption...

The Supreme Court of India recently issued a landmark ruling that may significantly expand the risk companies face under the U.S. Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (“FCPA”) and similar anti-bribery statutes across the world. On...more

Bridging the Week - March 2016

California Federal Court Refuses to Stop FERC Lawsuit to Uphold the Validity of US $453 Million Penalty for Manipulating Electricity Prices: A federal court in California refused to stop a lawsuit by the Federal Energy...more

Lessons from Qualcomm

Last week the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) concluded a Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FPCA) enforcement action against Qualcomm Inc. for violations on the Accounting Provisions of the FCPA, including both the...more

Qualcomm Settles FCPA Charges With SEC

Gifts and hospitality continue to be a key theme in the SEC’s latest FCPA case. The action also involves hiring relatives of officials and ignoring risk in the face of a weak compliance and internal control environment. In...more

VimpelCom Ltd. Agrees to Pay $795M and Accept a Three-Year Corporate Monitor to Resolve Massive Bribery Scheme in Uzbekistan

On February 18, 2016, Amsterdam-based VimpelCom Ltd., the world’s sixth-largest telecommunications company, and its wholly owned Uzbek subsidiary, Unitel LLC, entered into agreements with the U.S. Department of Justice...more

SEC Targets Insufficient Anti-Corruption Compliance Programs

The Securities and Exchange Commission’s (SEC) recent Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA) settlements focus on companies’ lack of sufficient anti-corruption compliance programs, which means, to the SEC, that the companies...more

Best Practices to Avoid Common FCPA Violations: Gifts, Meals, and Entertainment

As our previous posts illustrate, violations of the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (“FCPA”) can carry a hefty cost. Two issues are commonly the impetus for FCPA violations and, practically speaking, pose significant FCPA...more

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