The Foreign Corrupt Practices Act Under the Microscope

University of Pennsylvania Journal of Business Law, Vol. 15, Issue 1, 2012

63 Pages Posted: 19 Dec 2012  

Mike Koehler

Southern Illinois University School of Law

Date Written: December 18, 2012

Abstract

For most of the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act’s history, key decisions concerning its scope and enforcement were made behind closed doors around conference room tables in Washington, D.C. The FCPA took on a life of its own and, in many instances, the statute came to mean whatever the DOJ or SEC could get putative corporate FCPA defendants (mindful of the consequences of actual prosecuted charges) to agree to behind those closed doors. However, as the enforcement agencies continued to push the envelope on enforcement theories and practices, and as the DOJ brought more individual FCPA enforcement actions, including through manufactured sting operations, business entities and individuals alike began to openly fight back. While many FCPA enforcement decisions and procedures remain opaque, 2011 witnessed the most intense year of public scrutiny in the FCPA’s history. This Article (i) provides an overview of 2011 FCPA enforcement and discusses certain problematic enforcement trends, and (ii) highlights how in 2011 the FCPA was subjected to the most meaningful public scrutiny in its history. FCPA enforcement trends and scrutiny demonstrate that as the FCPA nears its thirty-fifth year, basic legal and policy questions remain as to the purpose, scope, and effectiveness of the FCPA.

Keywords: FCPA, Foreign Corrupt Practices Act

Suggested Citation

Koehler, Mike, The Foreign Corrupt Practices Act Under the Microscope (December 18, 2012). University of Pennsylvania Journal of Business Law, Vol. 15, Issue 1, 2012. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2191149

Mike Koehler (Contact Author)

Southern Illinois University School of Law ( email )

1150 Douglas Drive
Carbondale, IL 62901-6804
United States

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