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The Fourth Estate and the fight against corruption

Tom Fox | February 13, 2017

In the fight against bribery and corruption, I have always been fascinated by the multiple parts all members of society play. Obviously, regulators play a huge role in the enforcement component of this struggle. But other players have significant roles as well. One of the roles not discussed as widely as many is the role of the Fourth Estate, the press. In the fight against bribery and corruption, the press is often the group that breaks the story leading to enforcement action. Indeed, it was a Wall Street Journal article in 2010 about Hewlett-Packard and corruption in its German subsidiary, which led both the SEC and Justice Department to open an enforcement action involving the company, eventually leading to a $135MM penalty.

In addition to investigative journalism, the day-to-day spade work of many journalists furthers the fight against corruption and bribery. Obviously if you are reading this blog, you are interested in the Compliance Week angle on things. Yet,...

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