White Collar Criminal Defense: What is the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act?

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February 18, 2016
Colson Hicks Eidson

Miami White Collar Attorney Explains FCPA

The Foreign Corrupt Practices Act exists largely to prevent U.S. corporations from paying bribes in order to conduct foreign business. In this video, Miami white-collar litigation attorney Curtis Miner explains the FCPA and details a common example of a foreign corrupt practice.

If you believe you have evidence of a violation of the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act and wish to bring it to the attention of a white-collar litigation attorney, call us at 305-476-7400 or fill out our online case review form.

Video Transcription:

The Foreign Corrupt Practices Act makes it a criminal offense for a U.S. corporation to pay bribes in order to solicit business. So, the classic example would be a defense contractor, Honeywell International, for example, is looking to do business in Nigeria to get a defense contract with the Nigerian Air Force to supply them with some particular product. And some government official says the contract’s all yours, but you’re going to have to pay a little bit of a consulting fee, as we call it, to Minister so-and-so and Minister so-and-so and Chief so-and-so of the Air Force. If the U.S. corporation makes that payment, then they’ve engaged in a violation of the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act, they’ve essentially paid a foreign bribe. This has probably been the area in the past five years or so that white-collar defense practitioners have seen the greatest increase in attention, or number of prosecutions and investigations from both the U.S. Department of Justice and from the SEC. Both have made it clear that, along with insider trading, violations of the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act are one of the areas that they are really looking at increasing their enforcement activities and it’s been obvious both in newspaper publications, public reporting and in the types of cases that are getting brought.

Contact our lawyers at 305-476-7400 or contact our website at Colson.com for more information.