FCPA / Anti-Corruption

With the world economy significantly affected by the COVID-19 pandemic, many companies are struggling to survive and facing an acute need to retain existing business and obtain new business. This puts pressure on their business and marketing teams. As a result, proper management of the anti-corruption risks associated with business hospitality is even more important to avoid possible breach of applicable anti-bribery laws such as the US Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA).

Business hospitality, including gifts, meals, entertainment, transportation, lodging and per diems, that legitimately promotes cordial business relations or demonstrates a company’s products or services is a normal part of business relationships across the globe. However, business hospitality that improperly influences the behavior of the recipient to obtain or retain business advantages may result in actual or perceived anti-corruption violations, causing economic as well as reputational damage to the company. So, what are the things to look at when reviewing business hospitality expenses? This blogpost provides some practical advice to in-house legal and compliance professionals on the review and approval of business hospitality expenses.


Continue Reading Risk Management for Business Hospitality–The Basics

As the outbreak of the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic continues globally, multinational companies and individuals are joining the fight against the virus, donating money and medical supplies, and providing necessary services. However, when making these charitable donations, either domestically or globally, companies should consider appropriate anti-corruption compliance procedures under applicable anti-bribery laws such as the US Foreign Corrupt Practices Act to ensure the donation is used for the intended charitable purpose.  Any donation should be carried out in an open and transparent fashion, be based on fair and objective criteria, be accurately and completely documented, and be consistent in all respects with the principles of the company’s code of conduct and anti-corruption policies.

Some practical compliance safeguards include:

  • Donations should be made only to recipients that can be relied upon to use the donation in the legitimate manner intended by your company;
  • Donations should be described accurately and in reasonable detail in the books and records of your company; and
  • Donations that improperly or disproportionately benefit a public official or other recipient who has regulatory oversight over or who can improperly influence your company’s business should not be made.


Continue Reading Anti-Corruption Compliance for Charitable Donations—The Basics

On February 26, 2020, the U.S. District Court for the District of Connecticut partially overturned the jury conviction of Lawrence Hoskins in United States v. Hoskins, acquitting the defendant of all Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA) counts.  In doing so, the court found that the government had failed to demonstrate as a matter of law that Hoskins, a British citizen, had acted as an “agent” of Alstom Power Inc. (“API”), a US-based subsidiary of French multinational corporation Alstom S.A. (“Alstom”), and a “domestic concern” for purposes of FCPA jurisdiction.  This ruling is the latest twist in a case that has dealt a series of blows to the DOJ’s expansive assertion of FCPA jurisdiction over foreign defendants. As described below, however, the DOJ still has a number of tools available to prosecute non-US defendants involved in foreign corruption.

Continue Reading The FCPA’s Arm Remains Long: Recent Developments in FCPA Jurisdiction over Non-US Defendants

Click here to read the full Client Advisory by Steptoe.

On January 23, 2020, Transparency International published its 2019 Corruption Perceptions Index (CPI),  which measures perceptions of public sector corruption in 180 countries. Viewed together with the 2019 TRACE Bribery Risk Matrix,  which also includes private sector corruption, the Asia Pacific (APAC)

Click here to read the full Client Advisory by Steptoe.

Of the record-breaking USD 2.9 billion in fines imposed by US authorities in 2019 for violations of the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA), almost 95% involved Asia Pacific, primarily China and India, but also Indonesia, Vietnam, Thailand, and South Korea.

This year, the US

Click here to read Steptoe & Johnson LLP’s 2019 FCPA/Anti-Corruption Year in Review.

US Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA) enforcement authorities announced a steady stream of individual and corporate enforcement matters throughout 2019, some with eye-popping fines. Overall, the Department of Justice (DOJ) and Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) reported 50 FCPA-related actions (including 31

The World Bank Group (the Bank) published a joint Sanctions System Annual Report for fiscal year 2019 on October 10. This report, which reflects on the Sanctions System’s growth since its implementation twenty years ago, provides an overview of activities undertaken by the Bank’s Integrity Vice Presidency (INT), Office of Suspension and Debarment (OSD), and

On September 5, OFAC issued regulations to implement Executive Order (EO) 13851 related to the situation in Nicaragua.  Signed on November 27, 2018, EO 13851 blocks the property of persons who served as Nicaraguan government officials at any time on or after January 10, 2007, persons who are responsible or complicit in serious human rights abuses, undermining democracy, threatening peace and security, or corruption and expropriation.  It also blocks leaders or officials of entities that have engaged in such practices, as well as entities owned by persons blocked by the EO.

EO 13851 does not restrict general exports or imports involving Nicaragua.  Rather it is targeted at prohibiting US persons from engaging in transactions with designated persons and entities, and any undesignated entities that are owned 50 percent or more by one or more designated entities or persons.

The order also authorizes the US government to block the property of any persons, including non-U.S. persons, that materially assist, or provide financial, material, or technological support for, or goods or services in support of, persons and entities blocked by the order, as well as persons that provide support for human rights abuses, threats to peace and security, corruption and other activities described in the order.
Continue Reading OFAC Issues regulations implementing Nicaragua sanctions

The US Department of Justice (DOJ) Criminal Division announced the publication of updated Guidance on Evaluating Corporate Compliance Programs (2019 Guidance) on April 30, 2019. As discussed in our 2017 FCPA Mid-Year Review, the original guidance, published on February 8, 2017 (2017 Guidance), essentially set forth a list of 11 topics and over 100

US government enforcement of the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA) remained robust in 2018, and the trend of increasing multi-jurisdictional cooperation and enforcement continued throughout the year. In the United States, the 33 combined individual and corporate FCPA enforcement actions concluded by the US Department of Justice (DOJ) and Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) in