October 17, 2011 Articles

Civil Relief for Foreign Corrupt Practices Injuries

In certain narrow circumstances, Section 337 of the Tariff Act of 1930 could offer a company an opportunity to obtain relief in regard to conduct that resulted in an FCPA violation.

By Jeremy P. Evans and Andrew R. Booth

In recent years, the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) and the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) have become increasingly aggressive in their enforcement of the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA). The FCPA prohibits U.S. companies and citizens, as well as foreign companies listed on a U.S. stock exchange, from bribing foreign officials to secure improper advantages or to influence certain actions. The monetary fines and penalties imposed by the government on companies found to have violated the FCPA have escalated, resulting in multimillion-dollar corporate fines and sanctions that may include the termination of export licenses and debarment from government contracting programs. The government also has shown an increasing appetite for prosecuting individuals, both U.S. citizens and foreign nationals, for directing and authorizing payments to foreign officials.

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