• In 2004, the DOJ collected about $11 million in criminal fines. In 2009 and 2010 combined, the DOJ collected nearly $2 billion in criminal fines.

  • The FBI has trained a special investigative unit for FCPA violations.

  • FCPA enforcement officials currently have more than 150 criminal and 80 civil investigations underway.

  • New FCPA whistleblower provisions increase risks.

  • In 2010, 52 individual businesspeople were indicted, sentenced, or convicted and are awaiting sentencing for FCPA violations.

  • Enforcement officials resolved 6 FCPA enforcement actions in 2002. In 2010, they resolved 71.

  • In 2010 alone, five FCPA settlements exceeded $100 million.

  • The amount of FCPA penalties tripled between 2009 and 2010.

  • Individuals are facing significant FCPA fines and jail time for authorizing improper payments.

  • FCPA actions are increasingly brought against small and medium-sized companies as well as high-profile multinational corporations.


Who is a foreign official?

The FCPA prohibits improper payments to foreign officials, broadly defined to include any government employee, such as an elected or appointed government official or an official from any branch of state, local, or federal government. An official’s level within the hierarchy is irrelevant—payments to high-level officials are as improper as payments to low-level officials.

“Foreign Official” also includes officers, directors, and employees of government-owned companies or other instrumentalities. For example, a payment to a doctor at a state-owned hospital in a foreign country can be considered a payment to a foreign official. The state does not have to be the sole owner of the entity for the FCPA to apply.

Finally, candidates for public office and officers of public international organizations are also considered foreign officials for FCPA purposes.

Cairo, Egypt