Since the September 11, 2001, attacks against the United States, the FBI dramatically shifted priorities and resources to identify and address emerging threats presented by terrorist organizations. Although this resulted in significant achievements in detecting and preventing attacks against the homeland, FBI Agents and Analysts have been far less available to assist state and local partners, dismantle and disrupt violent gangs, respond to bank robberies and investigate international corruption. That is about to change. 

During the 2nd Annual Global Competition Review Conference in June 2014, Assistant Attorney General John Carlin provided insight regarding the mechanism used by the Department of Justice to prioritize investigations, explaining, “In today’s world, we must look beyond the law governing transactions to the full range of laws designed to protect our national security. We protect national security by taking an intelligence-driven, threat-based approach.” Recognizing the role international corruption plays in promoting terrorist organizations, human rights violations and economic instability, the FBI joined investigators from Canada, Australia and the United Kingdom to form the International Foreign Bribery Task Force in 2013. The Task Force merged the experience, perspective and intelligence of each country to strategically investigate international corruption. Under the new initiative over 30 Agents and Analysts with experience investigating complex financial fraud schemes will be assigned to FBI field offices in New York, Washington, D.C., San Francisco, Los Angeles, Miami and Boston to employ federal statutes, including the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act, to combat international corruption. The FBI will also assist foreign law enforcement agencies in the use of their own anti-bribery laws to prosecute corrupt officials and seize stolen assets.  

“With the growing global economy and the growing nature of international commerce with globalization of more companies and economies, it’s creating more opportunities for the potential of FCPA and corruption,” said Joseph Campbell, Assistant Director of the FBI’s criminal division, in an interview with the Wall Street Journal

 The increase in resources will undoubtedly yield additional investigations and seizures and will expand the FBI’s intelligence collection capacity.  The additional Agents represent a significant resource allocation and the team will be expected to produce results. When Assistant Director Campbell and I worked together as Team Leaders on the FBI’s Inspection Staff, we were constantly reminded, “that which can be counted can be measured.” In other words, the quality and quantity of FCPA investigations and penalties will increase. Companies that fail to implement procedures to ensure compliance with the FCPA or file inaccurate reports must beware.