Thursday, July 21, 2011

Perlmutter: Investigate Murdoch Empire for Foreign Corrupt Practices Violation

Today, U.S. Rep. Ed Perlmutter called on the Department of Justice and the SEC to investigate Rupert Murdoch's News Corporation for alleged violations of U.S. law under the the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act.

In a letter to Attorney General Eric Holder and SEC Chief Mary Shapiro, Perlmutter indicated alleged News Corporation bribes of United Kingdom government officials to access private information to promote print media sales, violated the FCPA of 1977.

In the letter, Perlmutter stated, "Violations of the FCPA cannot be tolerated.... [A]t the very least an employee of a company subject to FCPA knowingly may have provided money to government officials to gain a competitive advantage -- a violation of the FCPA."

The FCPA prohibits U.S. companies, as well as foreign businesses with U.S. operations, from illegally bribing foreign officials who intend to secure an improper business advantage. It applies to all employees or agents of either the parent company or the subsidiary. Thus, the reported allegations that Clive Goodman of Murdoch's News of the World, paid British law enforcement officials 100,000 pounds to access official information which could provide sensational headlines, would be a violation of the FCPA.

News Corporation is headquartered in New York , and News of the World is a subsidiary.

Perlmutter plans to introduce legislation giving U.S. companies the ability to pursue civil lawsuits against companies for alleged FCPA violations.

Perlmutter stated, “Although the Obama Administration is far more active enforcing the FCPA, violations are pervasive. Enabling American companies access to the civil justice system will level the playing field internationally and increase American exports.”

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