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Foreign Corrupt Practices

Foreign Corrupt Practices

The Foreign Corrupt Practices Act is a federal law which mandates accounting transparency and prohibits companies from paying bribes to foreign government officials and political figures for the purpose of obtaining business. It is the first American law that gives full protection to foreign nationals for reporting bribes and contains extraordinary procedures for their protection.

In a major breakthrough for international whistleblowers, key U.S. reward laws now have transnational application. In response to these important developments, our firm has established a Global Whistleblowing program.

As of 2014, whistleblowers from over 80 countries have filed critical information about fraud and corruption with U.S. agencies and have received substantial rewards for their contributions. The partners of Kohn, Kohn and Colapinto authored a report entitled, The Importance of Whistleblower Rewards in Combating International Corruption which details these international reward programs and how whistleblowers and international organizations can put them to the best possible use.

From 2010-2011, Kohn, Kohn & Colapinto led a successful effort to force the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) to enact new rules ensuring that persons who simply participated in paying bribes, but did not initiate or plan the bribing practices, could qualify for a reward.  Additionally, compliance officials who learn of the bribes can potentially qualify for rewards under the procedures proposed by KKC partners.

The partners for Kohn, Kohn & Colapinto have also travelled to Europe, sponsored by various Embassies to educate international leaders and Non-Governmental Organizations about the new whistleblower protections.

Kohn, Kohn & Colapinto currently represents clients in countries where whistleblowers must remain anonymous to protect their lives. KKC has arranged for SEC officials to meet secretly face-to-face with major whistleblowers at international locations for which the SEC officials have agreed to honor complete confidentiality.

The anti-bribery provisions are enforced by the Department of Justice, and the accounting provisions are enforced by the SEC. The Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act mandates the SEC to pay a reward to a whistleblower who voluntarily discloses original information regarding violations of the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act that leads to a sanction exceeding $1 million.

The amount of the reward ranges from 10 to 30 percent of the amount recovered by the SEC as a result of the information the whistleblower provides. That amount is determined by the significance of the information provided by the whistleblower, the degree of assistance provided by the whistleblower, and the interest of the SEC in deterring future violations of securities laws.

You can review Kohn, Kohn and Colapinto’s collection of resources pertaining to the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act, including the full text of the statute, the legislative history and several examples of enforcement actions taken by the U.S. under the law.

If you have knowledge of Foreign Corrupt Practices Act violations and would like to know how Kohn, Kohn & Colapinto can help you with your case, please contact us by completing our Consultation Request Form.

See our resource page on the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act or visit the Kohn, Kohn & Colapinto Blog for more information on the law and how it protects whistleblowers.