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December 9, 2013

FCPA Enforcement Still Lacks Clarity

As federal prosecutors ramp up their anti-corruption enforcement activities, serious questions remain for U.S. companies trying to comply with the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act. Investor’s Business Daily reports:

Critics say the more aggressive prosecutions have unnecessarily increased business costs by imposing massive fines on businesses without sufficient judicial oversight. Most cases settle. “No one can risk going to trial,” said Lisa Rickard, president of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce Institute for Legal Reform. “It’s a public relations nightmare for a company.”

The Department of Justice responded to such concerns last year when it released a guide on FCPA enforcement. While the guidance is a positive first step that clarified certain situations, the business community is left guessing on others. And, as Rickard told the Wall Street Journal after the release, “guidance by definition can never provide the same certainty as an affirmative statute.”

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