Jurisdiction Under FCPA Not Dependent on Physical Presence in U.S.

The World in U.S. Courts: Winter 2015 - Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA)

United States v. Hoskins, U.S. District Court for the District of Connecticut, December 29, 2014

Defendant Hoskins and co-defendants were indicted for violating the FCPA in connection with an alleged scheme to secure for Alstom Power, Inc., a U.S. company, a contract to build a power plant in Indonesia. Hoskins, a citizen of the United Kingdom and at all relevant times employed in Paris for Alstom Power’s French parent, sought to dismiss the indictment on several grounds, including that the FCPA does not apply extraterritorially to non-U.S. citizens. He stated that he had never been in the U.S. on business.

In the course of denying his motion to dismiss, the Court concluded that Hoskins did not physically have to be present in the U.S. in order to satisfy the FCPA requirement that a defendant have used a “means or instrumentality of [U.S.] interstate commerce” in furtherance of a prohibited payment. The Court noted the allegation of the indictment that Hoskins was acting as an “agent” of a “domestic concern” (Alstom Power, Inc.), and that even though based outside the country he had allegedly approved U.S. “domestic wire transfers.”

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