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FCPA Dragnet - Could Your Sales Agent Be An FBI Agent?

The private sector has an even greater incentive to perform due diligence on would-be agents that assist in obtaining foreign government business after last weeks announcement of a two and one half year sting operation that resulted in the arrests of 22 individuals on charges of violations of the U.S. Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA), conspiracy to violate the FCPA, and money-laundering. All but one of the arrests occurred on the eve of the Shooting, Hunting, and Outdoor Trade Convention in Las Vegas where the defendants were gathered for a trade show.

This largest single investigation against individuals in the history of the FCPA surpasses the total number of individuals charged with FCPA violations last year; the Department of Justice is making good on its assurances that FCPA enforcement is a priority, and that individuals will be targeted. As Assistant Attorney General Lanny A. Breuer stated in the Department of Justice Press Release announcing the charges, [f]rom now on, would-be FCPA violators should stop and ponder whether the person they are trying to bribe might really be a federal agent.

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