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After Hoskins: Critical Takeaways from the Most Important FCPA Trial in Years

By Ephraim “Fry” Wernick, Christopher James, and Peter Thomas

In a dramatic turn of events in what was the most publicly scrutinized FCPA case in years, a federal judge recently overturned a jury verdict finding Lawrence Hoskins guilty for violating the FCPA. The court entered a judgment of acquittal on the FCPA counts and found that no reasonable juror could have concluded that Hoskins, a U.K. citizen and executive of a French parent company, had acted as an “agent” of the French company’s U.S.-based subsidiary that bribed officials in Indonesia.

Given the unique facts of the case and controlling case law in the Second Circuit, the trial judge’s ruling likely was a faithful application of the law. However, the court’s decision to overturn the jury’s verdict demonstrates a glaring weakness in the government’s ability to prosecute foreign nationals for violations of the FCPA. Specifically, the FCPA enables federal law enforcement to prosecute low-ranking employees for foreign bribery so long as they work for U.S. companies or are domiciled in the U.S., but prosecutors often cannot use the statute to pursue foreign executives if they orchestrated the bribery scheme from abroad. Read the entire article here.

This information is provided by Vinson & Elkins LLP for educational and informational purposes only and is not intended, nor should it be construed, as legal advice.