Federal Judge Upholds DOJ's Expansive Application Of FCPA

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On April 20, 2011, in a prosecution brought against Lindsey Manufacturing Company (“Lindsey”) and several of its officers and employees, a U.S. Federal District Court Judge ruled that the term “instrumentalities” applies to foreign state-owned enterprises under the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (“FCPA”). Under this broad ruling, any employee or officer of a foreign state-owned enterprise would be considered a “foreign official” under the FCPA.

By way of background, the FCPA prohibits paying, promising, or authorizing the giving of anything of value to any foreign official in order to obtain or retain business or an improper benefit. Under the FCPA, the term “foreign official” is defined as “any officer or employee of a foreign government or any department, agency, or instrumentality thereof . . . or any person acting in an official capacity for or on behalf of any such government or department, agency or instrumentality. . .”

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