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What Percentage of DOJ FCPA Losses is Acceptable?


Mike Koehler


Southern Illinois University School of Law

March 21, 2012

The Criminal Law Reporter, Vol. 90, No. 823, March 21, 2012

Abstract:     
Bringing criminal charges and marshalling the full resources of law enforcement agencies against an individual is an awesome power that our government possess. Because that power alters the lives of real people and their families, sidetracks real careers, empties real bank accounts in mounting a defense, and causes often irreversible damage to real reputations, it ought to be exercised with real discipline and prudence.

While it is unrealistic (and probably not desirable from a policy perspective) to expect the Justice Department to win 100 percent of its Foreign Corrupt Practices Act prosecutions against individuals when put to its burden of proof, given the above referenced dynamics, it is realistic (and desirable from a policy perspective) to expect the department to win a very high percentage of its FCPA prosecution against individuals. However, several recent DOJ FCPA prosecutions against individuals have fallen short of this desirable objective, often in spectacular ways. This raises the question - what percentage of DOJ FCPA losses is acceptable?

To borrow from Justice Potter Stewart's classic reasoning in Jacobellis v. Ohio, I don't know what level of DOJ FCPA losses is acceptable and the answer may be indefinable. But I know it when I see it, and the number and magnitude of DOJ's recent FCPA losses is unacceptable.

Number of Pages in PDF File: 5

Keywords: FCPA, Foreign Corrupt Practices Act

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Date posted: March 23, 2012  

Suggested Citation

Koehler, Mike, What Percentage of DOJ FCPA Losses is Acceptable? (March 21, 2012). The Criminal Law Reporter, Vol. 90, No. 823, March 21, 2012 . Available at SSRN: http://ssrn.com/abstract=2027461

Contact Information

Mike Koehler (Contact Author)
Southern Illinois University School of Law ( email )
1150 Douglas Drive
Carbondale, IL 62901-6804
United States
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