Foreign Corrupt Practices Act Update

Sheppard Mullin Richter & Hampton LLP

The Department of Justice (“DOJ” or “Department”) and the Securities and Exchange Commission (“SEC”) have dramatically stepped up their enforcement of the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (“FCPA”). Perhaps the most noteworthy development this year was the first ever FCPA sting in which Federal Bureau of Investigations (“FBI”) agents posed as agents representing foreign government officials and solicited bribes from executives in the defense and law enforcement products industry. However, less sensational enforcement efforts—including investigations arising out of industry-wide probes and self-reporting—continue to be a focus for the DOJ and reports of more investigations surface seemingly every week. Most recently it has come to light that Australian natural resources firm, BHP Billiton, is under investigation by the SEC for possible violations of the FCPA, as well as by officials from the United Kingdom for possible corruption stemming from their operations in Cambodia and elsewhere.

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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.

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