In-House Lawyers Can Be FCPA Targets

By on February 16, 2018

February 16, 2018

Recent cases where in-house attorneys were subject to Foreign Corrupt Practice Act prosecutions are highlighted in this post from DLA Piper. In one case, the company itself got off the hook on the basis of full disclosure, cooperation, and remedial efforts. No such luck for three executives, including the former general counsel: All three eventually pled guilty to FCPA charges. In that case, the GC initially rebuffed the CEO’s request to facilitate a bribe. But when he was asked again, as he later testified, he was told that he had “no choice,” and that the company was “completely screwed, are the only words I can think of, if I didn’t make the payment.” There have been several other actions where DOJ has targeted in-house counsel directly, including one in which the former general counsel of a software company who pled guilty for his role in an accounting scheme received a two-year prison sentence. The authors find lessons for in-house lawyers in these cases. Number one, they say, is that pointing the finger at more senior executive will not be an excuse, in the eyes of the DOJ.

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DLA Piper

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