In just the past two months, the Department of Justice has announced that:
a former Drug Enforcement Administration employee pleaded guilty to defrauding the government out of more than $113,000 using fraudulently issued government credit cards;
two former federal agents were criminally charged with money laundering and other fraud offenses in connection with a U.S. government investigation;
a Customs and Border Protection Officer was criminally sentenced for personally benefiting from a government program he was charged with overseeing;
a former U.S. Army specialist was criminally indicted for accepting bribes from Afghan truck drivers in exchange for allowing the drivers to take thousands of gallons of fuel from the base for resale on the black market.
a former U.S. Air Force captain pleaded guilty to various criminal charges in connection with serving as a contracting official at Camp Eggers, near Kabul, Afghanistan (in which he administered at least three major U.S. government contracts, all held by the same Afghan company, for the purchase of clothing and footwear for Afghan National Security Forces (ANSF)) while at the same negotiating his future employment with the same Afghan company that held the contracts he administered.
a former U.S. Postal Service contracting officer was criminally indicted for engaging in a scheme to defraud the Postal Service through bribery and kickbacks in connection with the awarding of contracts to deliver the mail.
An Army National Guard recruiter and recruiting assistant were criminally convicted for their roles in a bribery and fraud scheme.
An Army National Guard official pleaded guilty for accepting a $30,000 bribe in exchange for steering a $3.6 million contract to a retired sergeant major of the Minnesota Army National Guard and his consulting company.
The above examples are from just the past two months. Search DOJ press releases for the past six months or year and the list grows much, much longer.
The common thread in the above criminal prosecutions is that a U.S. official abused a position of authority and trust for their own personal enrichment and placed their interests ahead of the public interest.
I am a U.S. citizen.
Am I thus a victim of the above criminal conduct? Do I deserve compensation? Does my community deserve a new school or playground?
I personally believe that the answers to the above questions is no as there is little direct casual link to the alleged activity and me.
Why then in the context of FCPA enforcement actions (actions which allege that a person or entity subject to the FCPA made or offered money or anything of value to a foreign official who abused a position of authority and trust for their own personal enrichment) have some advocated compensating the “victims” of the conduct violating the FCPA – namely the citizens of the foreign official’s country? (See here for example).
I have long opposed such feel good measures for a variety of reasons. (See here, here and here) (See here for my most recent explanation).
Perhaps though I need to start viewing myself as a victim of the numerous U.S. bribery and corruption schemes involving U.S. officials.
Will anyone start advocating on my behalf?