SEC Uses Accounting Provisions to Step Up FCPA Enforcement: Is Commercial Bribery Next?

December 02, 2009
As part of its commitment to enforce the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (“FCPA”), the Securities and Exchange Commission has expressed an increased willingness to charge companies with accounting violations in the absence of proof of bribery of foreign government officials. This may signal an attempt by the SEC to crack down on foreign commercial bribery, which could have a major impact on businesses and their subsidiaries operating under the SEC’s jurisdiction and the companies or joint ventures in which they hold a significant interest. This update examines the FCPA accounting provisions and the likely consequences of SEC actions predicated on commercial bribery rather than bribery of foreign officials.