In the case, U.S. v. Hoskins, a three-judge panel for the Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit on Aug. 24 unanimously held that a foreign national who does not otherwise fall under the specific categories of defendants described in the statute cannot be held liable under the theory that the foreign national acted as an accomplice or co-conspirator with a U.S. company or individual. Multinational companies now must consider how this may impact future FCPA investigations.
In an article published by The Wall Street Journal, RK&O associate Margot Laporte suggested that the application of the decision could be narrow because most multinational companies have a U.S. nexus and because the decision doesn’t apply nationally. “It’s a very fact-specific decision,” Laporte notes.
The aftermath of the case, however, could limit the jurisdiction under which prosecutors can pursue foreign bribery charges, “It is rare for an individual to challenge the U.S. government’s assertion of jurisdiction in an FCPA case, but the appellate decision could inspire more attempts to do so,” Ms. Laporte said. “The Justice Department’s jurisdictional theories may not actually be rooted in the law.”
"Court Upholds Narrower Jurisdiction in Foreign-Bribery Cases" - The Wall Street Journal (subscription required)