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Yates Memo: More Change Coming in FCPA Enforcement

Tom Fox | September 17, 2015

Last week FCPA enforcement took a formal turn when the Justice Department released the Yates Memo, which formalized the department’s new focus on prosecuting individuals under the FCPA. In the same week, there was a much less reported event that could have equally large effect on FCPA enforcement going forward.

In a courtroom in Washington, D.C., the U.S. District Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit heard oral arguments in U.S. v. Fokker Services. Although this matter isn’t about the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act—it involves criminal charges for unlawfully exporting U.S.-origin goods and services to Iran, Sudan, and Burma—the case has the potential for a significant effect on how FCPA enforcement is handled going forward.

In the criminal matter, the defendant Fokker Services was accused of making more than 1,000 illegal shipments to the sanctioned countries from 2005 to 2010. The Justice Department and the company wanted to enter into a deferred-prosecution...

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