South Carolina FCPA Lawyer 

The federal Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA) is a federal law that regulates how companies and individuals representing companies do business overseas. Many business people have never heard of the FCPA but violating it could lead to large fines,  prison sentences, and subject an offender to enforcement action by the Securities and Exchange Commission.

If your company is under investigation for federal Foreign Corrupt Practices Act violations and you have the authority to act on its behalf, you might be vulnerable. Securing the services of an experienced South Carolina FCPA lawyer could be critical for your future. Contact a skilled defense attorney to get started.

What is the FCPA?

The federal Foreign Corrupt Practices Act, 15 United States Code §78dd-1 et seq, makes it a crime to bribe a foreign official to get or maintain business opportunities or advantages. The law applies to any company that is traded on a US exchange and to companies and individuals whose primary place of business is the United States.

The FCPA also requires companies to maintain accurate records of their foreign business transactions and establish a transparent internal process to combat bribery and corruption. Managers, directors, employees, and shareholders could face charges under the FCPA if they engage in corrupt practices on behalf of their company.

Consequences Of a Federal Foreign Corrupt Practices Act Violation

The FCPA is a criminal statute. A corporation found guilty of violating the anti-bribery provisions could receive a fine of up to $2,000,000. Their officers and directors, and others acting on the corporation’s behalf, might face fines of $100,000 and a prison term of up to five years. 

In addition, there are civil penalties associated with FCPA violations. A firm and an individual acting on its behalf might face a civil penalty of up to $10,000 for violating FCPA’s anti-bribery provisions.  The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) could initiate an enforcement action based on FCPA violations. A seasoned white-collar crime attorney could attempt a global defense to squash all criminal and civil enforcement actions.

Prosecutors Must Prove Violation

In the United States, prosecutors always have the burden of proving that a crime has been committed by the person charged. Usually, there are specific elements of a crime that a prosecutor must establish beyond a reasonable doubt in order to obtain a conviction.

For violations of the anti-bribery section of the FCPA, prosecutors must introduce evidence sufficient to prove that:

  • Defendant used interstate commerce, such as personal travel, the internet, the telephone system, or any form of mail, in their attempt to bribe or corruptly influence a foreign government official
  • Defendant offered to pay something of value to the official. Payments or offers to pay political parties and candidates are also prohibited under the FCPA.
  • Defendant’s offer of payment was an improper attempt to influence the foreign entity to secure or maintain a business opportunity or advantage

A capable Foreign Corrupt Practices Act attorney will challenge the prosecution’s attempts to prove each of these elements. In addition, the law contains several exceptions and affirmative defenses an attorney might raise to secure a favorable resolution for the client.

Build a Defense With a South Carolina FCPA Attorney

The FCPA is a complicated statute with several unusual nuances. Defending someone facing charges relating to alleged FCPA violations requires a sophisticated understanding of international business practices as well as a thorough grounding in the law.

A South Carolina FCPA lawyer could offer wise advice and forceful advocacy to anyone undergoing an investigation or facing a charge related to the statute. Reach out immediately if you or your company is being investigated for federal Foreign Corrupt Practices Act violations.