Corruption

The penalties attached to both the active and passive corruption offenses are similar and depend on the position/function of the “corruptee”:

Corruptee

Imprisonment

Fine for Individuals

Fine for Legal Entities

French Public Official

10 years

EUR 1 million

or, alternatively, twice the proceeds derived from the offense

EUR 5 million

or, alternatively, 10 times the proceeds derived from the offense

Foreign or International Public Official

French Officer of the Court

Foreign or International Officer of the Court

A private person holding or occupying, within the scope of his professional activity, a management position or any occupation for any individual, legal entity or organization (e.g., an employee of a private company)

5 years

EUR 500,000

or, alternatively, twice the proceeds derived from the offense

EUR 2.5 million

or, alternatively, 10 times the proceeds derived from the offense

A person participating in a sports event (e.g., a player, a coach, areferee) for which bets are placed

Those convicted of corruption also face discretionary penalties (forfeiture of certain rights, prohibition from holding public office or from undertaking or engaging in certain professional, commercial or industrial activities, confiscation of sums or assets, closing of branches of the company, etc.). Moreover, any person (whether an individual or a legal entity) convicted of corruption in the last 5 years will be banned from participating in public tenders in France.

Finally, in practice, French courts may consider the existence of an effective anticorruption program as a mitigating factor in the context of criminal prosecution against a company for corruption or corruption-related offenses.

Influence Peddling

The penalties attached to both active and passive influence peddling offenses depend on the capacity of the “influence peddler”:

Influence Peddler

Imprisonment

Fine for Individuals

Fine for Legal Entities

French Public Official abusing his influence in order to obtain any distinction, employment, contract, or any other favorable decision from a public authority or administration

10 years

EUR 1 million

or, alternatively, twice the proceeds derived from the offense

EUR 5 million

or, alternatively, 10 times the proceeds derived from the offense

Any person abusing his influence in order to obtain (i) any distinction, employment, contract, or any other favorable decision from a foreign or international public official, (ii) a favorable decision or opinion from a French officer of the court, (iii) a favorable decision or opinion from an international officer of the court, or (iv) any distinction, employment, contract, or any other favorable decision from a French public authority or administration

5 years

EUR 500,000

or, alternatively, twice the proceeds derived from the offense

EUR 2.5 million

or, alternatively, 10 times the proceeds derived from the offense

Those convicted of influence peddling face the same discretionary penalties and automatic bans from participating in public tenders as those convicted of corruption.

Civil Penalties

For companies who fail to implement a compliance program under the Sapin II Law obligations, the director of the AFA can either issue a warning or refer the case to the agency’s Sanctions Committee (which can impose an administrative fine of up to EUR 1 million on the company and of up to EUR 200,000 on any director).

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