'Declinations with Disgorgement' in FCPA Enforcement

37 Pages Posted: 19 Jul 2017 Last revised: 31 Aug 2017

Karen E. Woody

Kelley School of Business, Indiana University

Date Written: March 1, 2017


This Article addresses the recent pretrial diversion scheme undertaken by the Department of Justice in conjunction with its Foreign Corrupt Practices Act Pilot Program; specifically, "declinations with disgorgement." This Article dissects both the purpose of, and terminology used in, declinations with disgorgement, and argues that this novel and creative pretrial diversion is a dangerous conflation of legal remedial theories and terms. A criminal disposition cannot be a declination with attendant penalties because either illegal activity occurred or it did not; prosecutorial discretion does not allow an "in-between" option of declination while simultaneously requiring disgorgement. Calling these dispositions "declinations," and the penalties associated therewith "disgorgement," is a wild misuse of the terms, creating a crisis in the expressive function of the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act and in the legal lexicon itself.

Keywords: FCPA, Foreign Corrupt Practices Act, disgorgement, declinations, deferred prosecution

Suggested Citation

Woody, Karen E., 'Declinations with Disgorgement' in FCPA Enforcement (March 1, 2017). University of Michigan Journal of Law Reform, Forthcoming; Kelley School of Business Research Paper No. 17-53. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2951879

Karen E. Woody (Contact Author)

Kelley School of Business, Indiana University ( email )

1309 East Tenth Street
Indianapolis, IN 47405-1701
United States

Register to save articles to
your library


Paper statistics

Abstract Views