US enforcement authorities have under certain circumstances interpreted the statute to prohibit the provision of anything of value to family and friends of foreign officials and to other third parties associated with foreign officials, such as charitable organizations.1  This interpretation is likely based on one or more of three theories:

  • that the family or friend is an intermediary expected to pass the thing of value to the foreign official;
  • that the foreign official’s financial obligations are offset or relieved by the thing of value provided to the third party in his/her place; and/or
  • that the foreign official receives an indirect, intangible benefit from the thing of value.

1 See e.g., In re JP Morgan Chase & Co., Admin. Proceeding File No. 3-17684, at *57 (Nov. 17, 2016) (finding that JP Morgan’s “Sons & Daughters” program violated the FCPA’s anti-bribery provision because it provided jobs and internships to relatives and friends of foreign officials in order to obtain or retain business). 

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