Foreign Corrupt Practices

Foreign Corrupt Practices

November 10, 2010 | By Keith Martin in Washington, DC

FOREIGN CORRUPT PRACTICES ACT enforcement actions are skyrocketing.

There was not a single prosecution in 2000. 

In 2006, fines won by the Justice Department were just $18 million. More than $1 billion in fines have been imposed so far in 2010. The FBI has doubled the number of agents assigned to Foreign Corrupt Practices Act cases. 

The Foreign Corrupt Practices Act is a 1977 law that bars US citizens and US companies from offering bribes to foreign government officials or employees of international public
organizations in an effort to win or retain business or secure any improper advantage. The biggest risk is not that US companies will violate the law, but that agents or consultants working for them will do so.

Non-US companies become subject to the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act by raising money in US capital markets.