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'Tis the Season for Compliance Concerns Over Gift Giving

Joe Mont | December 3, 2013

In the weeks ahead, compliance officers should be making a list and checking it twice.

A hazard of the holiday season is that all those red bows can also be red flags for regulators, as employees can have different ideas about the appropriate value of gifts to clients and others they do business with, and the lines between tokens of appreciation and bribery can blur.

With anti-bribery enforcement at intense levels and more countries on the lookout for any indication of corruption, companies will have to be more attentive to improprieties that can arise from holiday gift giving, including any offerings that could be construed as violations of federal and state anti-kickback statutes, the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act, and the U.K. Anti-Bribery Act. Companies in the healthcare sector will need to watch for gifts that could give way to difficult Sunshine Act disclosures.

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