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Second Circuit ruling limits scope of FCPA liability

Jaclyn Jaeger | August 29, 2018

Any case law concerning the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act is rare, which is why compliance officers and in-house counsel should take a close look at a recent federal appeals court decision that clarifies the jurisdictional scope of the FCPA.

In the case, U.S. v. Hoskins, a three-judge panel for the Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit on Aug. 24 unanimously held that a foreign national who does not otherwise fall under the specific categories of defendants described in the statute cannot be held liable under the theory that the foreign national acted as an accomplice or co-conspirator with a U.S. company or individual.

The Department of Justice declined comment, but those in the FCPA world say the case is significant for several reasons. Firstly, it’s not uncommon for the Department of Justice to aggressively interpret the scope of its FCPA jurisdiction, but because most...

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