How to Recognize an FCPA Violation
The Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA) of 1977 made it illegal for a company, stockholder, employee, or company agent to bribe a foreign official to secure a business deal. Violating this act can have serious consequences, including fines and other civil enforcement by the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC).
Below, we have provided some of the warning signs of an FCPA violation so you know what to avoid and can protect yourself from becoming involved in a possible violation. If you believe you have knowledge of an FCPA violation, get in touch with us today. We can help you win a whistleblower reward for your tip.
It’s important to be leery of third parties who can provide support to a new business. The issue is not the support they provide, but the fact that these third parties aren’t always subject to the same international anti-bribery laws and continue to provide bribes to foreign officials due to the lack of internal controls.
You can recognize the warning signs of a third party if the intermediary is recommended by a foreign office, if they request payment and other business dealings through an offshore bank account, if there are no formal business offices, or if the third party has relations in a foreign government office.
Unfortunately, the area in which business is being conducted does make a difference. Culturally, certain practices might be more common in other parts of the world. For example, in some countries, it is common to give gift baskets to officials, while this is frowned upon in the United States.
Anti-corruption regulations also come into play in other countries because, elsewhere, enterprises are often owned by the state. A good example could be oil companies, hospitals, contractors, and airlines, which are state-owned in various Asian and Middle Eastern countries.
The issue is that employees of such enterprises can be considered government officials, which can be problematic if they are being given gifts or having their expenses covered. These practices could be seen as an FCPA violation in the US.
The Fine Print
If the details for how to handle working with foreign officials are not explicitly described, it’s very possible that corruption could be occurring. Keeping the information on how to cover travel expenses, lodging, and other specifics vague can leave the door open for hidden bribing through gift-giving, entertainment, vacations, and more.
Consult with an FCPA Whistleblower Lawyer
If you believe you might have information regarding an FCPA violation and would like to discuss the details with an experienced FCPA whistleblower lawyer, reach out to Meissner Associates and schedule your no-obligation case assessment through the secure contact form below or by phone at 1-866-764-3100.