Business

Tom Fox On The FIFA Bribery Scandal And Corporate Compliance

Houston companies may have a lot to teach U.S. sponsors of World Cup soccer, particularly when it comes to dealing with federal corruption charges.

The bribery scandal involving FIFA, the international governing body for soccer, continues to build. More than a dozen sports officials and corporate executives are facing criminal charges. The drama mounted this week with the resignation of long-time FIFA president Sepp Blatter, just days after his reelection.

Houston attorney Tom Fox is principal of Advanced Compliance Solutions, a consulting firm that advises companies on compliance with the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA). He joins Andrew Schneider this week on the Bauer Business Focus.

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INTERVIEW HIGHLIGHTS:

How does the case against FIFA, which is based in Switzerland, fall under U.S. jurisdiction?

“Three of the defendants are U.S. citizens … many of the acts involved in the bribery schemes that were brought forward occurred in the United States … [and] you had wire transactions through the U.S. banking system.”

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What damage could U.S. corporate sponsors or partners of world soccer face from exposure to the bribery scandal?

“The reputational fallout alone could be devastating, but they could face civil or criminal penalties under the FCPA, the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act.”

 

How significant a concern should the FCPA be for Houston companies?

“Unfortunately … there have been more FCPA enforcement actions against companies headquartered in Houston than any other city on Earth. … Almost any energy company you can name has gone through an FCPA enforcement action or a significant FCPA investigation.”

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Andrew Schneider

Politics and Government Reporter

Andrew heads Houston Public Media’s coverage of national, state, and local elections. He also reports on major policy issues before the Texas delegations in the U.S. House and Senate, as well as the Texas governorship, the state legislature, and county and city governments. Before taking up his current post, Andrew...

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