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The government cracks down hard on cases that involve bribery and corruption. This includes someone bribing a foreign government or business to obtain or retain a certain business. To fight this type of corruption, the United States signed the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA) in 1977. If you are facing Michigan FCPA penalties, seek the services of a dedicated defense lawyer today.State's Burden of Proof
The prosecution has to prove the defendant offered a gratuity to a foreign official for the purpose of influencing a decision the foreign official was going to make. The government must prove that the person committed this act beyond a reasonable doubt. Also, the prosecution has to verify that an individual actually gave cash or bought an item to be given to the foreign official.
A conspiracy crime can be charged to prosecute bribery offenses that were not completed. If someone planned on committing a bribe but it was interrupted because the United States government found out about the scheme before the individual was able to transfer the funds, then the person still violated the FCPA and can be convicted of conspiracy.The Difficulty of FCPA Cases
The investigations of FCPA cases are difficult because it can be hard to get the foreign government associated with the bribe to cooperate. If it is a high ranking official in the foreign country, then they may deny they ever received any kind of bribe. Also, the foreign official is not going to be available to be interviewed by agents. The recipient of the bribe is outside the reach of the federal government and there is no way they can get the foreign official to come in and testify or provide any evidence.
Also, depending on many people were involved in the transfer of funds, it can be tough for the government to establish beyond a reasonable doubt that the transfer actually occurred.Penalties
The civil penalties for an FCPA violation can be high. Businesses can be subject to fines of up to $2 million. Directors, stockholders, and employees can be fined up to $100,000 and be sent to jail for up to five years.
Someone who has committed an FCPA offense could be facing a criminal penalty of up to $250,000 and up to five years imprisonment. The Ultimate Fines Act allows the government to fine at least twice the amount of the gross financial gain resulting from the payment. For accounting provisions, someone can be penalized up to $500,000 in a civil fine and up to $25,000,000 with a criminal fine. This is why it is essential that someone who is facing FCPA penalties in Michigan calls an experienced attorney as soon as possible.How an Attorney Could Help
A well-established lawyer is going to be able to assess the circumstance of your case and then start building a defense. FCPA violations are complex, which is why you need someone by your side throughout the legal process to give you the best chances to have your charges mitigated or dropped. An attorney will keep your best interests in mind, while your employer may not. If you are facing Michigan FCPA penalties, contact an accomplished defense attorney today to get started on your case.