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Traditionally, “corruption” investigations—whether domestic political corruption or foreign corruption under the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act—have involved bribes or kickbacks paid to public officials. But in a series of recent prosecutions, the Department of Justice has reimagined “corruption” to target private, commercial conduct. In doing so, the government may have expanded the definition of the term “corruption” to include behavior that has previously been handled civilly or otherwise within the context of the employee-employer relationship, and created a whole new set of legal risks for employers to evaluate.

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