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Hello, I’m Andrew J. O’Connell of Guidepost Solutions. As a former federal prosecutor and federal agent, I gained firsthand experience investigating and prosecuting many types of fraud and crime. I specialize in Foreign Corrupt Practices Act and other government enforcement investigations, corporate internal investigations, civil and criminal litigation support, IP matters, and business intelligence.
I will be writing about various issues, events and opinions surrounding corporate investigations.
For the first blog entry, I am highlighting a recent article in the Wall Street Journal that discusses the present day debates surrounding the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA), which was instituted in 1977 to prevent bribes to foreign officials. The FCPA is the cause of many corporate investigations involving companies doing business overseas.
On the reformer side of the issue, former Attorney General Michael Mukasey and Michael Koehler, a professor of business law at Butler University, argue that some of the requirements of the FCPA are too strict and too burdensome on corporations that are trying to expand their businesses internationally. For example, they support shielding companies from liability if they have a FCPA compliance program in place, as well as narrowing the definition of who constitutes a foreign official. They would also like information to be released when the Justice Department conducts an investigation of a company but subsequently declines to prosecute. On the other side of the debate is Mark Mendelsohn, former deputy chief in charge of the Justice Department’s FCPA team and a big proponent of the original, stricter law. Mark argues that corporations simply do not want to comply with the robust law, even though they have the ability to do so.
Whatever side of the debate you are on, the article highlights the fact that compliance with the FCPA is very important in order to avoid legal repercussions when doing business overseas. We at Guidepost Solutions are experts on the FCPA and the issues surrounding the law and look forward to blogging about it on a regular basis.
Andrew J. O’Connell serves as president of the Investigations and Private Client Protection practice at Guidepost Solutions. He is a former federal prosecutor and federal agent with expert investigative and security consulting experience. Mr. O’Connell oversees and conducts private investigations and security assessments throughout the United States and the world.