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Federal Judge Limits Scope of FCPA Liability

Jaclyn Jaeger | September 4, 2015

A recent district court decision substantially limits the reach of the government’s enforcement arm under the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act.

The FCPA grants jurisdiction over three categories of companies or individuals: a U.S. issuer or “domestic concern” or any officer, director, employee, or agent thereof; a U.S. citizen acting in furtherance of a corrupt payment; and any person in U.S. territory acting in furtherance of a corrupt payment.

In a ruling last month in the case United States v. Lawrence Hoskins, U.S. District Judge Janet Arterton for the District of Connecticut ruled that the U.S. government cannot charge any individual or company who doesn’t fall into one of these three categories with aiding and abetting or conspiring to violate the FCPA.

The ruling is important because it directly contradicts the...

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