Not Every Payment to a Foreign Official is a Bribe

On those rare occasions in which a U.S. business is confronted with the possibility of making a payment to a foreign official that is unrelated to the official’s government service, there is an understandable temptation to reject the payment and run in the opposite direction. In some cases, however, that is a very unattractive option. For example, if the foreign official is owed some amount as a result of his prior interest in the foreign subsidiary of the U.S. business and he is assuming a minister-level position in another country’s central monetary and banking agency, the U.S. business will be motivated to make the payment while navigating the FCPA-related obstacles associated with the situation.

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