Since most large corporations have business interests worldwide, it is only natural that they will be interacting with officials from foreign governments in an effort to increase their business presence within that country. However, depending on the nature of these meetings and if or how money changes hands between the corporation and government officials, the company could find itself under investigation by the U.S. Department of Justice and the Securities and Exchange Commission regarding possible FCPA violations. FCPA, which refers to the Foreign Corruption Practices Act, prohibits payments to officials of foreign governments for the purpose of gaining or retaining business in a country. Should questions arise regarding this, DOJ and SEC investigators may launch a due diligence audit. Rather than try to manage this situation on your own, hire experienced FCPA due diligence audits lawyers to provide necessary assistance and advice along the way.
FCPA Compliance Problems
In many instances where these investigations are launched, the company or individuals involved had no intention of committing wrongdoing. However, since the rules and regulations surrounding FCPA compliance are very confusing, it is very easy for individuals who meet with foreign government officials to misinterpret rules and thus make payments that are deemed to be illegal by the U.S. government. To avoid such situations, it is often a good idea to meet with FCPA due diligence audits lawyers prior to allowing money to change hands. By doing so, your lawyers can advise you as to whether your plans would be considered illegal by the U.S. government. If you happen to already be facing scrutiny from investigators, do not panic. Instead, consult with FCPA due diligence audits lawyers to guide you through each step of the process as your case plays out.
Cooperation, Not Incrimination
Once your company is involved in a due diligence audit by the DOJ and SEC, it is usually to your benefit to cooperate as much as possible. However, cooperation does not necessarily mean incrimination. Even if you had no criminal intent and know you did nothing wrong, you should be very careful what you say and do when approached by investigators. Since they may have already jumped to conclusions and believe you are guilty, they will use various tricks during conversations in an attempt to get you to incriminate yourself. Should you make this mistake, it will be very difficult to come out a winner in your case. To ensure your legal rights are protected during these conversations, never meet with investigators under any circumstances unless you have skilled and knowledgeable FCPA due diligence audits lawyers by your side.
Provide Detailed Records
When investigators who are performing due diligence audits require additional information from you to answer their questions, it is best if you can provide the necessary documents right away. If you can, this increases the chances the audit will ultimately go in your favor. However, if your records indicate discrepancies regarding the findings of investigators or you do not have documentation to support your actions, the audit can become an even more serious matter. Since federal investigators work hard to ensure compliance with FCPA, they may set out to make an example out of you and your company. Rather than let this happen, always meet with FCPA due diligence audits lawyers as much as possible prior to an audit taking place. Upon doing so, you can gather together documents and other evidence needed for your audit, allow your lawyers to examine the evidence and make suggestions, and help plan a legal strategy that will help you emerge a winner.
Don’t Dwell on Penalties
Since there can be civil and criminal penalties against those who violate FCPA, it is often easy for those under investigation and audit to dwell on the negative possibilities. However, this is exactly what investigators and prosecutors want you to do. By continually having you think about large fines and possible prison sentences, they are hoping you will say or do things they can use against you. Yet rather than give in to your worry, meet regularly with your FCPA due diligence audits lawyers. Since they will have a track record of success with these cases, they can put your mind at ease.
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