Oklahoma Company Pays $11.8 Million Criminal Penalty in Foreign-Bribery Case
The Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA) makes it illegal for U.S. companies to bribe foreign officials in order to get business. The Department of Justice (DOJ) can impose criminal fines on both businesses and individuals, including officers, directors and employees. Individuals are also subject to imprisonment for up to five years. In addition, the Securities and Exchange Commission can bring civil lawsuits against businesses and individuals.
Recently, the DOJ filed a criminal case against BizJet, an Oklahoma aircraft maintenance and repair company, alleging that the company violated the FCPA by bribing Latin American government officials in order to win government contracts. The company allegedly bribed officials in Mexico and Panama both directly and through a shell company.
BizJet and the DOJ reached a deferred prosecution agreement under which BizJet is required to pay an $11.8 million criminal penalty, cooperate in ongoing investigations and implement a compliance program to detect and prevent future violations. At the end of the prosecution-deferral period, the DOJ will dismiss the criminal charges if BizJet abides by the terms of the agreement.
The DOJ also reached an agreement with Lufthansa Technik, an indirect parent company of BizJet, under which the Lufthansa Technik is required to implement "rigorous" internal controls. The agreements noted BizJet’s and Lufthansa Technik’s "extraordinary cooperation" and "extensive remediation," including terminating the individuals responsible for the bribes.
WeComply's online FCPA training course provides employees with an overview of the scope of the FCPA and teaches them to identify and appropriately respond to "red flags" signaling potential FCPA violations.Categories: International Compliance