Texas-based companies and individuals involved with international business transactions must comply with the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA). Failure to adhere to the strict standards involving bribery, health care fraud and other criminal offenses will get unwanted attention from the Department of Justice and the Securities and Exchange Commission.
FCPA Penalties and Defenses for Non-Compliance
All criminal FCPA prosecutions fall under the jurisdiction of the Department of Justice. Civil prosecutions for FCPA violations may be brought by the SEC. These executive agencies may run parallel investigations and share information, yet seek distinct penalties. There are also private causes of actions for FCPA violations, which may be brought by a business competitor who lost business due to the corrupt payment. In such a situation, the plaintiff may seek treble damages.
There are affirmative defenses to alleged FCPA violations. The FCPA expressly provides that payments for routine governmental action, such as obtaining licenses or permits, may be permissible. Hiring police protection for a facility may also be permissible. However, whether a payment to an official falls into a permissive category is a question that may require the expertise of counsel. In the past decade, we have extensively represented persons accused of FCPA violations or have been targets of FCPA investigations. In FCPA investigations, experience is requisite and all situations are unique.
FCPA compliance is difficult. Investigations by powerful government entities are thorough and exhaustive. You need a dedicated and knowledgeable advocate at your side. Contact us at 713-234-1416 or toll free at 888-659-8742.