Upheld ex-Alstom exec’s acquittal affirms ‘setback’ for FCPA’s reach


A Foreign Corrupt Practices Act case that has been the center of a back-and-forth court battle for nearly a decade appears to have come to an end, giving chief compliance officers and in-house counsel at least some degree of finality regarding the jurisdictional scope of the FCPA.

In United States v. Hoskins, a divided three-judge panel for the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit held on Aug. 12 the foreign national at the heart of the case had not acted as an “agent of a domestic concern” and thus fell outside the extraterritorial reach of the FCPA.

The underlying dispute concerned FCPA charges brought by the Department of Justice (DOJ) in 2013 against Lawrence Hoskins, a U.K. citizen and former senior executive at the British subsidiary of French power and transportation company Alstom.

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