The Biden administration has stated that fighting against corruption will be one of its top priorities and will be aggressively pursuing FCPA violations. Corruption extends across the globe and affects all areas of business. As a result, the United States Congress enacted the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA) in 1977. The purpose of the FCPA is to prevent the bribery of foreign officials by U.S. businesses or companies that are listed on the stock exchanges. The U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) and the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) are responsible for enforcing the FCPA.
Bribery and other corrupt practices reduce the public’s confidence in the marketplace and put honest businesses at a major disadvantage. One area that commonly sees a large amount of FCPA violations is the oil and gas industry. Some oil and gas companies view paying bribes to foreign officials simply as a cost of doing business.
Amec Foster Wheeler FCPA Case
The U.S. Department of Justice recently announced a three-year deferred prosecution agreement with Amec Foster Wheeler Energy Limited, a subsidiary of John Wood Group, to resolve criminal charges related to a bribery scheme involving bribes paid to Brazilian officials in exchange for a $190 million contract to design a gas to chemical complex for the Petrobras Project. The company must pay approximately $41 million to resolve investigations by the DOJ and SEC.
The Foster Wheeler case is important because it shows the complexities of FCPA violation enforcement. This case is a prime example of how international law enforcement agencies partner together to prosecute corrupt companies. Foster Wheeler was prosecuted by enforcement agencies in the U.S., U.K., and Brazil. The U.S. claimed jurisdiction in this case because the defendant was traded on the Nasdaq, the company was corresponding through email on a U.S.-based email server and had several transactions through U.S. bank accounts.
The federal government and law enforcement agencies view the information provided by whistleblowers as a powerful weapon in the battle against corruption and bribery. As a result, whistleblowers are provided protection from retaliation and can receive a monetary award for providing valuable information that leads to a successful FCPA prosecution. Whistleblowers should consult with an experienced whistleblower attorney to learn more about their rights and protections.
Contact Baron & Budd
With more than 30 years of experience, the attorneys on Baron & Budd’s whistleblower representation team have represented dozens of clients in government fraud cases returning over $5.4 billion to federal and state agencies, with whistleblower recovery shares as high as 49%. They are ready to help if you have evidence of FCPA violations.
Please call (866) 401-5971 or complete our contact form if you would like more information. For more information, see What You Need to Know About Becoming a Whistleblower. Please understand that contacting us does not mean that you have established an attorney-client relationship with Baron & Budd, P.C.