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On March 5, 2019, the FBI announced the creation of a dedicated “international corruption squad” that will be based in the FBI’s Field Office in Miami, Florida. According to the FBI’s press release, the squad is to be staffed with personnel who have “extensive experience conducting complex white-collar crime and corruption investigations.” The FBI’s announcement signals that organizations doing business in Latin America should be prepared to face increasing scrutiny from federal authorities.
The FBI’s move is consistent with a burst of FCPA activity involving Latin American companies in recent months. The FCPA—Foreign Corrupt Practices Act—criminalizes bribery of foreign officials, either directly or through an intermediary, in order to obtain business or some other benefit.