The Foreign Corrupt Practices Act: Compliance Issues in the Tax and Customs Arena

The Tax Executive
According this article written by Kate Atkinson and James Tillen, among the many changes in the legal and business landscape following the Enron scandal and the Sarbanes-Oxley Act of 2002 has been a dramatic increase in the pace and ferocity of enforcement of the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA), which prohibits improper payments to influence foreign officials who have the power to affect a company’s business. Enforcement officials at the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) and the Department of Justice (DOJ) are pursuing more and more cases and securing settlements that include criminal fines and penalties, disgorgement of ill-gotten gains, prison terms for individual wrongdoers, and ongoing compliance monitoring obligations. One lower-profile aspect of these cases is that they arise not only in the traditional area of government procurement, but also in the arenas of customs duties, tax assessments, and tax controversies.
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