Will the FCPA Be Used to Prosecute Domestic Bribery Cases?

In 2016, the U.S. Supreme Court reined in the scope of the federal domestic bribery statute, holding in McDonnell v. United States that a bribe paid to a public official does not violate the statute unless it was paid in exchange for a narrowly defined “official act.” While it may seem that this decision would restrict the DOJ’s use of the anti-bribery provisions of the FCPA as well, David Bitkower, a partner at Jenner & Block, Nicholas Barnaby, assistant general counsel at General Dynamics Corporation, and Karthik Reddy, an associate at Jenner & Block, argue in this guest article that there are signs – including Panasonic’s recent DPA covering both foreign and domestic books and records issues – that the DOJ is envisioning a shift in the opposite direction: using the FCPA to more aggressively prosecute domestic bribery cases. See “Big Deals? Panasonic and Subsidiary Settle FCPA and Exchange Act Charges for $280 Million” (May 16, 2018).

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