FCPA compliance attorneys at Joseph Potashnik and Associates PC offer their help to Unites States and foreign organizations in developing, implementing and rigorously reviewing their FCPA compliance policies, and in advising their overseas branches, subsidiaries, representatives and agents regarding FCPA-compliant corporate procedures for handling contracts with foreign governments or involving their officials. Besides that, we represent clients investigated and prosecuted by the SEC (Securities and Exchange Commission), FBI and the Dept. of Justice for the Act’s infringement.
About the Act
The Foreign Corrupt Practices Act regulates the way U.S. companies do business with foreign governments and their officials. It also covers cases of foreign companies implicated in corrupt payments in the U.S. According to this statute, the companies’ representatives must not bribe foreign officials to get profit. Besides that, the legislation makes it illegal to make or offer a bribe to a foreign public official using any kind of interstate communications (mail, electronic, wire). The Act also requires businesses whose securities are listed in the country to comply with certain accounting requirements.
Nowadays the federal government is increasingly aggressively pursuing FCPA violations, and reportedly at any point of time there are around 150 ongoing criminal investigations, a large percentage of which result in prosecutions and convictions.
The SEC has been known to target companies in such investigations by capital origin. Interestingly, China is among the countries viewed by the SEC as presenting a high risk of violations, due to a high level of government corruption. As a result, Chinese companies are one of the most frequently targeted by FCPA enforcement. Besides that, the agency also holds a list of industry domains that statistically are more commonly vulnerable to corruption. These include banking and finance, energy, transportation and some others.
Consequences and Penalties for FCPA Infringement
Businesses and persons found guilty of this offense may face severe penalties – prison time, steep fines and forfeiture of property. It should be noted separately that criminal investigations into FCPA violations may uncover other offenses, such as mail and wire fraud, securities and investment related crimes, money laundering and others. Given that the agents may sometimes be overzealous when investigating into FCPA violations allegations, it is highly important to establish policies that will ensure compliance with the Act’s provisions.
International FCPA Enforcement
Most countries have adopted similar anti-corruption legislation and cooperate with other countries’ governments when investigating into international bribery and corruption cases. Several international organizations help ensure anti-corruption enforcement:
- the Organization of Economic Cooperation and Development;
- the Asia Development Bank;
- the World Bank;
- the United Nations Convention Against Corruption;
- the European Union conventions.
The agreements and conventions signed by these organizations’ state-members provide for harsh criminal penalties, long statutes of limitations and other provisions that help anti-corruption enforcement.
How FCPA Attorneys at Joseph Potashnik and Associates Can Help
The ultimate goal of FCPA attorneys at our NY firm is to prevent prosecution and criminal investigations through thorough preparation and compliance review. In situations where FCPA investigations have already started, our FCPA lawyers can prevent or minimize the client’s criminal and financial exposure by negotiating alternative methods of resolution.
For example, in a recent case we handled we managed to we managed to negotiate deferred prosecution. In fact, this is not an uncommon outcome in such prosecutions as the government attempts to encourage voluntary disclosure of information and cooperation with federal investigators. In these cases, the corporation may be taking the blame so that its executives avoid criminal charges.
Top FCPA Lawyers in New York
Joseph Potashnik and Associates has highly competent FCPA attorneys on board who have wide experience building strong compliance programs, conducting internal audits and defending clients in investigations and prosecutions regarding FCPA-related and other white-collar offenses. We assist clients in the U.S. and across the globe in cross-border criminal and regulatory matters. Our FCPA attorneys’ expertise includes issues directly associated with compliance programs, as well as risk assessment, conducting internal investigations concerning potential violations, transaction counseling as to dealing with state-owned entities or other high-risk enterprises, and advice to buyers and sellers regarding FCPA compliance in mergers and acquisitions.
We fully realize the need for discretion involved in these matters, and offer tactful and sensitive solutions to compliance issues confronted by local and foreign companies. We encourage our clients to be proactive in forestalling any potential FCPA issues and assist them in implementing and crafting such measures as formal policy statements, company-wide ethics manuals, training programs and seminars, introducing mechanisms for coordinating/operating the compliance program (“clearinghouse”), maintaining accurate accounting and record-keeping systems, and setting up anonymous reporting procedures.
To obtain a thorough and extensive consultation concerning any FCPA issues your company may face, contact Joseph Potashnik and Associates PC at (212) 577-6677.