More Federal Agents to Focus on FCPA Investigations

More Federal Agents to Focus on FCPA Investigations

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More #FBI agents are being added to increase #FCPA investigation efforts. What does this mean for your company?

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Monday, January 19, 2015 - 1:40pm

CONTENT: Article

With a record number of fines for FCPA violations being recorded in year 2014, the FBI along side the Securities and Exchange Commission, are increasing their efforts to add to their ability to investigate and prosecute those who violate the FCPA and other corruption/bribery laws. The Federal Bureau of Investigation is on the move with tripling its enforcement size. Its goal is to increase enforcement for any FCPA violations here on native soil as well as increase the ability to prosecute, along side cooperating countries, companies that conduct unethical business practices abroad. In the article FBI To Bulk Up Foreign Bribery Efforts, written by Joel Schectman, of the Wall Street Journal, he explains how the SEC utilizes the FBI for their investigation on FCPA allegations and have prioritized them for this purpose.

“With the growing global economy and the growing nature of international commerce with globalization of more companies and economies, it’s creating more opportunities for the potential of FCPA and corruption,” said Joseph Campbell, assistant director of the bureau’s criminal division

Of course the increase of agents assigned to this level of enforcement comes in a time where the SEC and the DOJ have had several significant wins against large companies. One of those companies under investigation being Alstom SA, just settling in a guilty plea worth over $770 million, one of the largest ever recorded for FCPA violations. This also comes at a time where some believe that governments rely too heavily on internal investigational resources conducted by the company under investigation. Conducting their own internal investigation and passing this information over to the investigating agency was an opportunity for companies to potentially receiving some sort of leniency.

As federal agents increase their power in numbers, what should companies that conduct business locally and abroad do? Any company trying to manage business abroad is opening themselves to potential risk that could ultimately lead to a possible FCPA violation. As enforcement increases, so should any companies’ responsibility to address their own potential corruption risk. Simply having a policy in place doesn’t insure against acts of corruption and should certainly not be the only steps taken to safeguard against any companies corruption risk. As part of our on going efforts on anti-corruption education, we have increased our efforts in educating anyone seeking to be informed and have created our latest complimentary webinar “A Case Study Road Map: Addressing Global Corruption Risk.” To learn more and view this complimentary webinar, click here.