Business Crimes Perspectives

Both History and Recent Trends Indicate that Strong FCPA Enforcement Likely to Continue During Economic Downturn

July 20, 2009

In this Issue:

  • History and trends as indicators
  • Increasing FCPA fines and penalties
  • Individual prosecutions
  • International cooperation
  • M & A challenges


History teaches us that corruption — and the perception of corruption — rises in times of economic hardship, and this lesson has not been lost on the SEC and the DOJ. Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (“FCPA”) investigations and enforcement actions have been on the rise in recent months, continuing a trend that began in the mid-2000s. The government is applying the FCPA in broader contexts, is driving the fines and penalties imposed on violators to new heights, and is looking to prosecute and jail individuals for their roles in the violations. This heightened attention to the FCPA presents ongoing challenges for companies seeking to acquire businesses overseas, as inadequate due diligence can result in the inadvertent acquisition of the substantial costs associated with a future FCPA investigation, to say nothing of the acquisition of potential FCPA liability, and even the efforts to carry out appropriate due diligence can derail potential transactions. (continues)

Download the Foley Hoag Business Crimes Perspectives - July 2009 Issue (.pdf)