World Tours and The Summer Olympics: Recent Pitfalls Under the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act in the Areas of Gifts, Entertainment, and Travel


In the spring of 2015, the United States Securities and Exchange
Commission brought two significant Foreign Corrupt Practices Act
cases involving gifts, entertainment, and travel. The SEC brought the case of In the Matter of FLIR Systems involving FCPA violations
concerning the financing of a “world tour” of personal travel for
government officials. The SEC then filed the case of In the Matter of BHP Billiton involving FCPA violations concerning the sponsored
attendance of foreign officials at the 2008 Summer Olympics in
Beijing. These landmark cases affirm previous guidance by the
Securities and Exchange Commission and the United States
Department of Justice that gifts, entertainment, and travel given for corrupt and improper purposes will violate the FCPA. These cases
also signify active involvement by United States regulators in
pursuing violations under the FCPA for improper conduct
concerning hospitality. This Article will provide an outline of the
FCPA and emphasize the affirmative defense for certain “reasonable
and bona fide” expenditures under the statute. The Article will then
look at formal and informal guidance on gifts, entertainment, and
travel as these subject matters relate to the FCPA. The Article will
next discuss the recent FLIR and BHP Billiton cases. Finally, the
Article will discuss key takeaways glanced from these cases, and the
FCPA compliance measures that should be undertaken in the areas
involving gifts, entertainment, and travel.


To download a full PDF of this article, click here


About Author

Comments are closed.

Fordham Journal of Corporate & Financial Law