As a result of SEC investigations in the mid-1970's, more than 400 U.S. companies admitted making questionable or illegal payments in excess of $300 million to foreign government officials, politicians, and political parties. The abuses ran the gamut from bribery of foreign officials to secure a favorable action by a foreign government to so-called facilitating payments to ensure that government functionaries discharged certain ministerial or clerical duties.
The international reach of business places public companies, private enterprises and financial institutions under the umbrella of many US federal statutes, including the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act of 1977 ("FCPA"), 15 U.S.C. §§ 78dd-1, et seq., and foreign laws that prohibit corrupt payments to foreign officials for the purpose of obtaining or keeping business. In addition, other statutes such as the mail and wire fraud statutes, 18 U.S.C. § 1341, 1343, and the Travel Act, 18 U.S.C. § 1952, which provide for federal prosecution of violations of state commercial bribery statutes, may also apply to such conduct. The Department of Justice is the chief enforcement agency, with a parallel role played by the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC).
UHY Advisors investigators and forensic experts work with in-house counsel, corporate boards, management and outside advisors at various stages to identify potential violations of anti-bribery and other relevant federal or local laws. Our highly trained team of professionals has an extensive history of identifying red flag issues, including:
- A history of corruption in a country
- Family relationships between company members and government officials
- Unusual means of payments or size of commission
- Identifying “grease” or facilitating payments
- Misrepresentations regarding business purpose or proposed transactions
UHY Advisors works with its clients and counsel to ensure that the proper accounting and compliance provisions and internal controls are firmly in place and to test these controls before, during and after mergers, acquisitions, joint ventures or the formation of other business associations. We look beyond the financial statements to identify any material misstatements or omissions. In addition, we work with management to establish and oversee that the necessary internal controls and compliance measures are firmly in place.
Additional information regarding our multi-service line approach to preventing, detecting and addressing FCPA concerns can be reviewed by clicking here.