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Potential Exists for Whistleblower Awards for FCPA Tips

The $57 million that has been paid out in 26 whistleblower awards from the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) since its whistleblower protection program began has not included any Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA) tips. However, because the SEC’s program is still relatively new and foreign investigations often take a great deal of time, there is still plenty of opportunity moving forward for tips to reveal foreign misconduct and lead to big time awards for whistleblowers.

Even though these types of cases are difficult and time consuming, the SEC did bring nine different FCPA enforcement actions in 2015, which included the second-largest civil penalty ever handed out in a settlement related to FCPA offenses. The director of the Division of Enforcement at the SEC also says that pursuing these violations remains a critical portion of the agency’s enforcement tasks.

Opportunities are there

Last year’s annual report to Congress indicated that the SEC did receive 186 whistleblower tips on potential FCPA violations in 2015, although none led to whistleblower awards. Given this volume of tips coming in, it would seem it’s only a matter of time before actions taken lead to awards for whistleblowers.

Common signs that would indicate organizations are paying bribes to foreign officials include the following:

  • Unusually vague budget entries or other unexplained payments to foreign sources
  • Lack of internal processes, education and training relating to FCPA regulations
  • Unexplained affiliations with foreign businesses or “consultants”

To learn more about FCPA violations and how you can protect your business against potential complications, contact the trusted Dallas attorneys at Whistleblower Law for Managers.

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