On Nov. 29, 2017, U.S. Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein announced a revised Foreign Corrupt Practices Act Corporate Enforcement Policy. The new policy contains a clear roadmap for avoiding corporate criminal liability that corporate counsel would be wise to follow.
The Foreign Corrupt Practices Act of 1977, 15 U.S.C. Section 78dd-1 et seq. (FCPA) makes it unlawful for an “issuer” or “domestic concern” defined by the act to make payments to foreign officials for the purpose of obtaining or retaining business. Specifically, the FCPA prohibits the willful use of the mails or interstate commerce corruptly in furtherance of any offer, payment, promise to pay, or authorization of the payment of money or anything of value to any person, while knowing that all or a portion of such money or thing of value will be offered, given or promised, directly or indirectly, to a foreign official to influence the foreign official in his or her official capacity, induce the foreign official to do or omit to do an act in violation of his or her lawful duty, or to secure any improper advantage in order to assist in obtaining or retaining business for or with, or directing business to, any person.
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