US Lawmakers Seek to Criminalize Foreign Bribe Offers
06 Aug 2019

Foreign officials that solicit or accept bribes from their American counterparts could face monetary penalties and prison sentences under bipartisan legislation recently introduced in the US House of Representatives.

The Foreign Extortion Prevention Act (FEPA) would expand domestic anti-bribery statutes under 18 U.S. Code Sec. 201 by targeting any officer or employee of a foreign government or “public international organization,” or a surrogate, who “corruptly demands, seeks, receives, accepts, or agrees to receive or accept anything of value” in return for influencing governmental actions.

The bill, introduced by Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee (D-TX), would complement the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA), which bars US officials from accepting such bribes. Under FEPA, violators could serve up to two years imprisonment or be fined as much as three times the worth of the “thing of value,” or both.

The bill, which has yet to be considered by a House committee, is cosponsored by Reps. John Curtis (R-UT), Tom Malinowski (D-NJ), and Richard Hudson (R-NC).

Read the full bill here

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