What is the link between bribery and the federal FCPA?

Many American residents, U.S. businesses, foreign companies involved in securities trading in the United States and additional persons and entities that deal with foreign officials in business matters run across the acronym FCPA in due course.

Spelled out, that shorthand designation stands for the federal Foreign Corrupt Practices Act. For some individuals and company principals, the legislation’s particulars are merely clarifying and instructive. For others, their details are directly applicable to personal conduct and can be instrumental in subjecting some persons to lengthy prison terms and/or hefty fines.

In noting the bribery provisions of the FCPA on our website at the Houston criminal defense firm of Hilder & Associates, we stress its bottom-line admonition for any business player.

And that is this: “Do not make a corrupt payment to a foreign official for the purpose of obtaining or retaining business for or with, or directing business to, any person.”

That’s a mouthful, we know. Moreover, its broad-sounding coverage and application is precisely that; parties targeted for unlawful behavior under the FCPA by the U.S. Department of Justice and/or the federal Securities and Exchange Commission are sometimes surprised by the law’s sweeping breadth.

For example, the act applies to behavior relevant to business transactions in foreign countries and to deemed corrupt payments within the United States, as well. And it can affect U.S. nationals and residents regardless of whether they reside abroad or in the U.S.

Persons doing business with a foreign nexus in either an individual capacity or on behalf of a business enterprise might reasonably have questions or concerns regarding the FCPA’s scope and application. Attorneys from a law firm that regularly represents diverse clients in FCPA-linked matters can provide accurate information and diligent legal representation.