The FCPA prohibits the offer, authorization, or provision of a thing of value to a foreign official. Whether something constitutes a thing of value depends on the subjective perception of the intended recipient.1 In practice, even an intangible benefit might qualify as a thing of value so long as there is evidence the thing has value to the foreign official. The DOJ and SEC have broadly interpreted the term to include:
- cash equivalents and financial instruments, such as securities, loans, and gift certificates;
- gifts, including jewelry and luxury items;
- leisure travel, accommodations, and sightseeing excursions;
- employment opportunities;
- political and charitable donations;
- education expenses;
- sponsorships for seminars and educational programs; and
- medical expenses.
1 See United States v. Williams, 705 F.2d 603, 623 (2d Cir. 1983).