Greenberg Traurig Shareholder and Co-Chair of the Global White Collar Criminal Defense Practice John Pappalardo was recently profiled in a Globes article discussing the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA) which allows a person to be prosecuted in the United States for an act that occurs outside of the United States.
Pappalardo, who has represented many prominent clients including Russian oligarch Mikhail Khodorkovsky, also focuses on ensuring clients involved in international business are compliant with the vast requirements of the law.
A few key takeaways from the interview with Pappalardo:
1. There are countries where institutionalized corruption is a “cultural tradition.” Avoid doing business there; it’s not worth the risk.
2. There has been a significant increase in cooperation between countries in connection with prosecuting corruption, especially when a country opens an investigation based upon a request for information from another country, usually through a Mutual Legal Assistance Treaty (MLAT).
3. If you want to conduct business in a country where there is corruption, it is important to note that hiring a third party broker to carry out banned activities on your behalf is a crime.
4. In recent years, 90 percent of international bribery cases brought to trial in the United States include improper actions by a third party broker.
5. Companies need strict and effective compliance programs that include training and clauses in contracts that insist on third-party compliance with the laws.