International Scope Under the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act
What is the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act?
The Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA) is a U.S. law that prohibits the payment of anything of value to foreign government officials in order to obtain a business advantage. The FCPA also requires publicly traded corporations to make and keep books and records that accurately reflect transactions of the corporation in order to ensure that no bribes were paid.
The U.S. Department of Justice and Securities Exchange Commission have published an excellent guide to the FCPA that is linked here. This guide is the single best resource on the scope of the FCPA.
The law firm of Kohn, Kohn and Colapinto, LLP have also published Power Point presentations that explain the FCPA and the whistleblower provisions associated with that law.
Does the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act include a whistleblower protection provision?
Yes. In 2010, as part of the Dodd-Frank Act, whistleblowers can obtain monetary rewards for disclosing violations of the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act.
Does the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act extend to foreign nationals and companies?
Yes. The U.S. government has successfully prosecuted many foreign foreign corporations under the FCPA and has issued millions of dollars in rewards to both U.S. and non-U.S. whistleblowers. The FCPA covers all U.S. persons, all companies that trade on U.S. stock exchanges, all subsidiaries of U.S. companies, and foreign corporations that permit U.S. citizens to buy stock in their companies through a process known as “ADRs” or American Depository Receipts.
Have foreign nationals filed claims under the FCPA?
Yes. Since 2011 over 2,000 non-U.S. citizens from over 100 countries have filed confidential whistleblower reports to the SEC. See map reprinted below.
Have foreign nationals obtained monetary rewards?
Yes. Foreign nationals have received millions of dollars in rewards for reporting under U.S. laws.
See SEC decision awarding a foreign national an award under the FCPA.
Foreign nationals can also obtain rewards from the Commodity Futures Trading Commission if the bribery concerns violations of the laws concerning commodity trading. The CFTC has also paid foreign nationals monetary rewards.
Does the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act allow a whistleblower to remain anonymous?
Yes, provided that a licensed attorney submits the claim on your behalf. Filing anonymously reduces the risk of retaliation. For more information and a free consultation about whether you may qualify for a whistleblower reward under the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act please fill out our online intake form.
Can I read the foreign corrupt practices act in my own language?
Visit the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act resource page to find FCPA in your language. Translations into over 50-languages by the U.S. Department of Justice can be found on this page.
Where do I file my Whistleblower Claim?
Whistleblower claims under the FCPA are initially filed with either the Securities and Exchange Commission or the Commodity Futures Trading Commission. Information on filing under these laws can be found below:
Where can I learn more about the FCPA?
The international scope of U.S. whistleblower laws was discussed at the international Offshore Alert Conference held in November 2019 in London.
Qui tam attorney Stephen M. Kohn’s presentataion in Sarajevo, Bosnia concerning the scope of the FCPA was videotaped and can be accessed on the right side of this page.