James Tillen Discusses Possibility of FCPA Violations by News Corp. and Murdoch in the Wall Street Journal

“Could Hacking Scandal Lead To An FCPA Inquiry?”
 The Wall Street Journal
07.08.11James Tillen comments on whether charges could be brought against News Corp. or James Murdoch, head of News Corp.'s international holdings, under the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act, which bans bribery of foreign officials to obtain business by companies listed in the U.S. or by their subsidiaries.  The burden of proof would be high for a case to reach Murdoch, Tillen says.  He would have to have been caught approving or authorizing the payments, he continued.  “If the reports are true that he didn’t have knowledge of this activity, that’s an important factor,” Tillen said.  However, it would be more likely that News Corp. could get caught up by the law’s books-and-records provisions, which have a longer extraterritorial reach than do the FCPA’s anti-bribery sections, he says.  For example, if the alleged payments to police were not properly recorded, that would be a violation of the FCPA.  “Because you can draw on knowledge at the company, it’s easier to show the company had the requisite intent or knowledge” that the bribery was going on, Tillen says.
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