Today's arrest of Dr. Shu Quan-Sheng, the CEO of AMAC International Inc., for alleged violations of the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA) is further evidence of increased efforts by the U.S. Department of Justice to prosecute individuals under the act.

AMAC is a high-tech company based in Newport News, Virginia, with an office in Beijing. Dr. Shu, a naturalized U.S. citizen who was born in China, has been charged with bribing Chinese government officials in exchange for contracts to supply space-launch technology in violation of the FCPA. 

Dr. Shu's arrest comes two weeks after Mark Mendelsohn, the DOJ's chief prosecutor of foreign bribery, spoke on an American Bar Association panel about the trend toward prosecutions of individuals – as opposed to corporations – under the FCPA. According to Mendelsohn, this increase is a result of explicit DOJ policy: "The number of individual prosecutions has risen – and that's not an accident." "That is quite intentional on the part of the Department. It is our view that to have a credible deterrent effect, people have to go to jail. People have to be prosecuted where appropriate. This is a federal crime. This is not fun and games."

Mendelsohn's speech clearly signals that the government's enforcement actions against individuals for FCPA violations will continue to rise. In this environment of increased enforcement, it is imperative that companies maintain robust compliance programs to prevent and detect FCPA potential violations. 

Ballard's White Collar Litigation Group is available to answer your questions and provide guidance on this issue. Please contact Henry E. Hockeimer, Jr., at 215.864.8204 or hockeimerh@ballardspahr.com.


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