DOJ's Citgo Case Highlights Reach, And Limits, Of FCPA

By Timothy Belevetz (June 19, 2019, 12:37 PM EDT) -- When a Miami businessman paid bribes to several corporate executives based in Houston, he may have had no idea he was violating a federal law criminalizing payments to foreign government officials to get business. In fact, as Jose Manuel Gonzalez Testino's May 29, 2019, guilty plea highlights, those payments did just that.

The bribes he paid to employees of the ubiquitous gasoline refiner and retailer Citgo violated the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act. The FCPA makes it illegal to pay money or a thing of value to a foreign official to obtain or retain business.

It does not make commercial bribery illegal. In...

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