This past year marked the 40th anniversary of the U.S. Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (“FCPA”). Since its enactment in 1977, the U.S. Department of Justice (the “DOJ”) has brought approximately 300 FCPA enforcement actions, while the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (the “SEC”) has brought approximately 200 cases. This anniversary year, the first year of the Trump administration, demonstrated that the FCPA continues to be a powerful tool in combating corruption abroad and encouraging compliance at global companies.
On December 20, 2017, President Trump issued a new Executive Order (PDF: 235 KB) (EO) targeting corruption and human rights abuses around the world.
The EO implements last year’s Global Magnitsky Human Rights Accountability Act (the Global Magnitsky Act), which authorized the president to impose sanctions against human rights abusers and those who facilitate government corruption. The US Department of the Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC), which will administer the EO, also added 15 individuals and 37 entities to its Specially Designated Nationals and Blocked Persons List (SDN List). Continue reading →
Let’s say you’re a powerful foreign leader who has accepted millions of dollars in bribe payments, a “Kleptocrat.” You’ve got a problem: where to stash the loot? The stacks are too big to stockpile in your piggy bank or sock drawer. You need to be more creative. Here is one solution: set up an off-shore company, open a bank account in a jurisdiction with strict bank secrecy laws, load the account with the bribe payments you received, and then buy premium real estate in the United States. Voila – clean money.