DOJ announces record $3.5 billion-plus fine under FCPA

In a series of ongoing posts, our blog has been discussing the U.S. Foreign Corrupt Practices Act -- or FCPA -- the landmark legislation passed by Congress back in 1977 to address corruption in the global marketplace. In particular, we've been focusing on its anti- bribery provisions.

To recap, the anti-bribery provisions of the FCPA essentially prohibit issuers, domestic concerns and other designated parties from making offers of payments, actual payments, or promises to make payments to foreign officials as a means of 1) influencing any act or decision taken in an official capacity, or 2) securing or retaining business. 

Interestingly enough, the FCPA was front and center in a recent announcement by the U.S. Justice Department outlining how it has reached an agreement with a Brazil-based construction conglomerate to pay a corporate bribery fine of over $3.5 billion, a new record.

This astounding amount was the product of a massive investigation -- referred to in documents as Operation Car Wash -- by U.S. and Brazilian authorities into construction giant Odebrecht and its petroleum subsidiary Braskem, which will pay $2.6 billion and $957 respectively.

Reports indicate that dozens of executives for Odebrecht, one of the largest construction firms in all of Latin America, were rounded up based on allegations that they took part in a massive graft scheme designed to overcharge Brazil's state-controlled oil company, Petrobras, for projects and use these funds to make political bribes.

Regarding Braskem, the SEC has indicated that it made $325 million in profits thanks to bribes paid to a Petrobras official along with other prominent political figures.

This is far from the end of the matter, however, as both U.S. and Brazilian authorities have indicated that the investigation into alleged corruption is continuing.

As to why the federal government is so involved in this investigation, it's all because of the FCPA. Specifically, both companies list their stock on U.S. exchanges and conduct business via U.S.-based banking institutions.        

This story clearly demonstrates that not only does the FCPA remain a very valuable weapon for the DOJ, but also one it will not hesitate to deploy in its efforts to combat corruption in the global marketplace.

We'll continue our discussion of the FCPA in future posts …

In the meantime, consider speaking with a skilled legal professional who can protect your freedom and your future if you are under investigation or have been charged with violating the FCPA.

No Comments

Leave a comment
Comment Information
  • Badge 1
  • Badge 2
  • Badge 3
  • Badge 4
  • Badge 5
  • Badge 6
  • Badge 7
  • Badge 8

Contact O'Brien Hatfield, PA for a free case evaluation today

In Tampa, call (813) 345-4909. In Orlando, call (888) 496-5916 . For fast answers, email us using the form below.

Bold labels are required.

Contact Information
disclaimer.

The use of the Internet or this form for communication with the firm or any individual member of the firm does not establish an attorney-client relationship. Confidential or time-sensitive information should not be sent through this form.

close

Privacy Policy

Footer Brand

Tampa Bay Office
511 West Bay Street Suite 330
Tampa, FL 33606

Toll Free: 888-496-5916
Phone: 813-345-4909
Tampa Law Office Map

Central Florida Office
121 South Orange Avenue Suite 1500
Orlando, FL 32801

Toll Free: 888-496-5916
Phone: 407-808-6750
Orlando Law Office Map

South Florida Office
Northbridge Tower
515 North Flagler Drive
Suite P-300
West Palm Beach, FL 33401

Toll Free: 888-496-5916
South Florida Office Map

South Florida Office
Brickell Bay Office Tower
1001 Brickell Bay Drive
Suite 2700 M-1
Miami, FL 33131

Toll Free: 888-496-5916
Phone: 305-909-0624
Miami Law Office Map