Texas Court Was Right: These Internal Reports Enjoy Absolute Privilege

Companies that prepare internal reports at the request of the Department of Justice, discussing the likelihood of criminal violations, should be able to benefit from absolute privilege that shields them from defamation suits brought by people named in the reports. That is what the law should be; otherwise, companies would not feel free to conduct […]

Lessons to Be Learned From Avon’s FCPA Experience

Avon Products Inc. announced recently that it could face penalties from the U.S. Department of Justice and the Securities and Exchange Commission for alleged violations of the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA). The beauty products company faces an ongoing government investigation of its alleged payment of bribes in China and other countries that it paid […]

New FCPA Case Yet Another Indication of Reach of U.S. Laws

On May 29, 2013, the U.S. Department of Justice announced the settlement of a major criminal and civil case involving the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act. In this case, the Securities and Exchange Commission and the DOJ, along with French authorities, announced charges against Total S.A., a French-based oil and gas company. Total agreed to pay […]

FCPA Guide by DOJ, SEC Is a Must-Read for Corporate America

The U.S. Department of Justice and the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission just issued a long-awaited guidance document intended to inform businesses about how to comply with the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA), the federal law against foreign bribery. The 130-page document goes into considerable detail regarding what practices the U.S. government believes may violate […]

This Is Time for FCPA Compliance, Not for ‘Reform’ of the Statute

By Pamela J. Bethel The latest Wal-Mart news is that the company has been active in a concerted campaign by an arm of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce to weaken the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA), which prohibits U.S. companies from bribing officials of foreign governments. The Washington Post reported on its front page on […]

Wal-Mart Lesson: Compliance Program Works Only When You Follow It

By Pamela J. Bethel Even a carefully designed corporate compliance program will do a company no good if its top executives intentionally decide to ignore the program’s dictates. That is one of the many lessons that can be gleaned from the Wal-Mart bribery scandal, which was first highlighted in an 8,000-word New York Times article this past […]

Setback in FCPA Case Won’t Cool DOJ’s Ardor for Prosecutions

On Thursday, Dec. 22, 2011, Judge Richard Leon in the U.S. District Court in the District of Columbia dismissed conspiracy charges against six defendants in the high-profile “Gabon sting” Foreign Corrupt Practices Act case. After 12 weeks of trial in which the government put on its case, the judge found that there was insufficient evidence […]

Is FCPA Enforcement Under Siege?

Enforcement of the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA) seems to be under siege from a number of different directions. We wrote last month about the FCPA convictions of Lindsey Manufacturing and two of its executives in U.S. District Court in Los Angeles. Since then, however, Judge Howard Matz, presiding over the case, has asked for […]

When It Comes to the FCPA, Better to Stay on the Safe Side

Last month, a federal jury in Los Angeles handed down guilty verdicts against all the defendants on trial in the well-publicized Foreign Corrupt Payments (FCPA) case against Lindsey Manufacturing. The results were devastating for the company and the individuals. The CEO and other officials, as well as Lindsey Manufacturing itself, were convicted after only a […]