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Hinton & Bailey LLP

Foreign Corrupt Practices Act


Texas-based companies, in fact all United States companies and individuals involved with international business transactions must comply with the federal Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA). Failure to adhere to the strict standards involving bribery, fraud and other criminal offenses will get unwanted attention from the Department of Justice and the Securities and Exchange Commission.  

FCPA Penalties and Defenses for Non-Compliance

All criminal FCPA prosecutions fall under the jurisdiction of the Department of Justice. Civil prosecutions for FCPA violations may be brought by the SEC. These executive agencies may run parallel investigations and share information, yet seek distinct and separate penalties. There are also private causes of actions for FCPA violations, which may be brought by a business competitor who lost business due to a corrupt payment. In such a situation, the plaintiff may seek treble damages.

There are affirmative defenses to alleged FCPA violations. The FCPA expressly provides that some payments for routine work is permissible. However, whether a payment to an official falls into a permissive category is a question that may require the expertise of counsel. The focus of an investigation is often widespread as it begins and may shift as an investigation moves forward.    In the past, we have represented and counseled with persons accused of FCPA violations or who have been targets or subjects of FCPA investigations.  In FCPA investigations, experience is requisite and all situations are unique.  Even witnesses in such investigations should consider seeking advice. 

Contact our Firm

FCPA compliance can be difficult and stressful.  Investigations by powerful government entities are thorough and exhaustive. You need a dedicated and knowledgeable advocate at your side.  Feel free to contact us any time, with any question at 713-864-4477.