If you have made payments to government officials in other countries and are now being investigated, you may be in violation of the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act of 1977. While not all payments or entities are bound by the act, it's a good idea to understand what it is and what it aims to protect.
On Thursday the Justice Department, the SEC and the Fed jointly agreed to allow JPMorgan Chase to settle a case involving allegedly massive bribery of Chinese officials. The settlement will require the bank to pay penalties totaling $264 million but not to admit any wrongdoing. While critics including President-elect Trump called for executives to be charged criminally, the bank was able to achieve a nonprosecution agreement, which is unusual.
The main purpose of the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA) is to eliminate bribery designed to influence foreign officials and negatively impact fair market competition.