In the minds of some (including former FCPA enforcement officials – see here), Foreign Corrupt Practices Act enforcement is a convenient cash cow for the U.S. government.
Those who believe this will find new support in the first corporate FCPA enforcement action of 2023.
The basic findings are as follows.
Approximately 12 years ago, Rio Tinto (a metal and mining company with headquarters in Australia and the United Kingdom) hired a French investment banker and close friend of a former senior Guinean government official as a consultant to help the company retain mining rights in Guinea.
Even though both Australia and the United Kingdom have laws and law enforcement resources to adequately address the conduct at issue, the U.S. nevertheless extracted $15 million from Rio Tinto because the company had American Depository Shares that traded on a U.S. exchange.