Kit Addleman in Dallas Business Journal: Feds ramp up enforcement in foreign corruption cases


Even though laws against bribing foreign officials in business aren't new, the Obama administration has ramped up enforcement of the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act prompting North Texas companies with a substantial international presence to get proactive in avoiding violations of the act.

Kit Addleman, a partner at Dallas' Haynes and Boone, said the stepped-up prosecution is part of a global effort to crack down on business bribery schemes.

"It is in so many different areas around the globe," Addleman said. "Oil and gas, pharmaceuticals, technology, health care - it had to become a big enough problem and the longer you let it go on, the more rampant that corruption is. A change in administration is helpful from a government perspective taking on something that wasn't a high priority in the past administration."

The previously weak enforcement may be attributed to the competitive disadvantage it could give U.S. companies in a corrupt-friendly global market since few other nations prohibited the payment of bribes to foreign officials.

Corruption may also be associated with pertinent national security challenges such as terrorism and drug cartels.

"There are potential links to terrorism," Addleman said, "there are suggestions that by paying bribes, we are condoning illegal activities, and by doing that, we're leading to more and bigger security risks including in national security issues."

Excerpted from the Dallas Business Journal, August 20, 2010. To read the full article, click here.

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