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Penalties

Individuals

What penalties are available to the courts for violations of corruption laws by individuals?

Violations of the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act can lead to substantial civil and criminal penalties. Under the anti-bribery provisions individuals face criminal fines of up to $100,000 per violation and five years' imprisonment. Under the accounting and record-keeping provisions individuals face criminal fines of up to $5 million per violation and 20 years' imprisonment. Under the Alternative Fines Act, the actual fine may be up to twice the benefit that the defendant sought to obtain from making the corrupt payment. Further, the Securities Exchange Commission may seek to impose civil penalties of up to $10,000 per violation and disgorgement. Additional penalties can include:

  • injunctions;
  • forfeiture of assets;
  • disgorgement of profits; and
  • suspension (or in some cases debarment) from doing business with the government.

Companies or organisations

What penalties are available to the courts for violations of corruption laws by companies or organisations?

Violations of the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act can lead to substantial civil and criminal penalties. Under the anti-bribery provisions, companies face criminal fines of up to $2 million per violation. Under the accounting and record-keeping provisions, companies face criminal fines of up to $25 million per violation. Under the Alternative Fines Act, the actual fine may be up to twice the benefit that the company sought to obtain from making the corrupt payment. Further, the Securities Exchange Commission may seek to impose civil penalties of up to $10,000 per violation and disgorgement. Additional penalties can include:

  • injunctions;
  • forfeiture of assets;
  • disgorgement of profits; and
  • suspension (or in some cases debarment) from doing business with the government.

Further, some companies that have settled Foreign Corrupt Practices Act violations with the government have had to defend civil lawsuits alleging violations of the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organisations Act that were premised on Foreign Corrupt Practices Act violations.

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