Enforcement of the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA) by the US Government and the Bribery Act by the UK Government has become increasingly prevalent, costing organizations up to hundreds of millions of dollars to settle. Along with its anti-bribery prohibitions, the FCPA, in particular, contains detailed accounting requirements designed to ensure that books and records of an organization accurately reflect corporate transactions. In fact, FCPA enforcement actions by the Securities and Exchange Commission typically arise due to accounting violations.
Potential indicators of accounting violations include:
- Cash expenses;
- Compensation to third parties without sufficient supporting detail;
- Use of shell companies;
- One-time payments to vendors;
- Duplicate or sequential invoice numbers for the same vendor;
- Unusual rebate or discount pricing;
- Unusual travel, entertainment, marketing, or employee bonus expenses;
- Compensation to third parties without sufficient supporting detail; and
- Payments to third parties outside the country where the goods or services were provided.
When concerns have arisen, or allegations made, that improper payments may have been made in regard to the conduct of business in foreign countries, CRA can be an invaluable member of an organization’s investigative and defense team. CRA has extensive experience providing expert testimony, accounting analysis, and litigation support services in matters pertaining to alleged bribery violations. Our investigation professionals include CFEs, CPAs, CFAs, and economists as well as a former US federal prosecutor.
CRA works closely with an organization’s in-house or external counsel to determine if payments have been made that might violate the FCPA. CRA has global reach with offices in Europe, Asia, and the Middle East. Our experts are adept at identifying, uncovering, and quantifying facts and then presenting them in thorough and accurate reports. We have consulted on many of the world’s largest financial and accounting investigations, including those involving bribery and the FCPA.
Our experts have extensive testimonial experience and can communicate the complex issues and transactions (which are sometimes, if not often, the hallmark of an FCPA matter) in a manner that non-specialists (including clients, regulators, judges, and juries) will understand.
Further, we can help clients determine whether a recipient of an allegedly improper payment was actually a government official; whether a term, used in the books and records of the organization in question to describe a payment, was designed to mislead or was common in the industry; and whether the timing of a payment indicates that it was unrelated to the transaction in question.
In sum, CRA has the full range of expertise required to assist an organization that is facing concerns, or confronting allegations, that bribes or attempted bribes may have occurred.