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What factors determine a company’s violation of the FCPA?

On Behalf of | Apr 25, 2024 | FCPA, Federal Criminal Defense

The Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA) prohibits U.S. persons and companies from bribing foreign officials for their business gains. Moreover, the federal law mandates public companies to abide by its accounting provisions. If your business is facing an FCPA accusation, what does the Department of Justice (DOJ) consider before it investigates or brings charges?

Matters of compliance

According to an FCPA guide, the DOJ will consider the nature, severity and risk to the public of the supposed violation. It will also look into the pervasiveness of wrongdoing in the company. Among the other considerations about the company in question are as follows:

  • Disclosure: Did they report the wrongdoing in a voluntary manner? In addition, was the disclosure timely?
  • Cooperation: Are they willing to cooperate with the government during the investigation?
  • Misconduct: Do they have a history of committing similar violations?
  • Compliance: Is there an effective compliance program in place? The DOJ will check this at the time of the violation. It may also investigate this at the time of bringing a charge or releasing a resolution decision.
  • Remedial actions: Were there efforts to implement or improve on a compliance program? Did they pay restitution? And did they take disciplinary action?

Meanwhile, another consideration is whether the FCPA offense has collateral consequences that affect the public, employees, pension holders and shareholders. Additionally, the DOJ will determine if the remedies are sufficient. Finally, the DOJ will check if the prosecutions of culpable individuals from the company are adequate.

Facing an FCPA charge

An FCPA charge has complexities because it deals with alleged acts of corruption, bribery and accounting inaccuracy. With legal support, you may face it by challenging the evidence and proving compliance so that you can restore confidence in your business.