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When you’re facing a federal issue, you need an attorney whose going to be available 24/7 to help you get the results and outcome you need. The value of working with the Spodek Law Group is that we treat each and every client like a member of our family.

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The BEST LAWYER ANYONE COULD ASK FOR!!! Todd changed our lives! He’s not JUST a lawyer representing us for a case. Todd and his office have become Family. When we entered his office in August of 2022, we entered with such anxiety, uncertainty, and so much stress. Honestly we were very lost. My husband and I felt alone. How could a lawyer who didn’t know us, know our family, know our background represents us, When this could change our lives for the next 5-7years that my husband was facing in Federal jail. By the time our free consultation was over with Todd, we left his office at ease. All our questions were answered and we had a sense of relief.

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The Foreign Corrupt Practices Act penalties can be very serious and cases can be riddled with complexities. This legislation was introduced in 1977 for the purpose of preventing U.S. corporations from bribing foreign officials. The FCPA makes it unlawful for any U.S. corporation or individual, and also certain foreign entities, to give money or anything of value to a foreign government official for the purpose of obtaining or retaining business for, or with, or directing business to, any other individual. There are accounting requirements built into the act that obligate public companies to maintain records that show the company’s transactions.

Who Does the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act Apply To?

George FernandezGeorge Fernandez
14:16 30 Apr 24
Excellent 10 out of 10, Helped resolve my case. Jeremy explained everything and made everything easy to understand.
21:33 24 Apr 24
If you are looking for a lawyer that listens, is aggressive where needed, and holds his word above all else, Todd is the best pick. I had hired multiple attorneys prior to hiring the Spodek Group for a white collar case. The first thing that stood out to me was the cost, as anyone going through the process and dealing with the system, money was tight at that time - especially after hiring and firing multiple lawyers. The cost was not as high as others which was definitely a plus. Todd's intake process was also unlike other attorneys. He took the time to actually listen. He cared. He was trying to put himself in my shoes while I was explaining the situation to him and he really took the time to understand the whole situation. Other lawyers will give you 15 mins and send you a retainer agreement. Not Todd, I think he spent almost two hours with me as I was explaining everything.Not only was he great during the onboarding process, he was supportive and very informative through the entire plea process and eventually sentencing. After hiring him, I asked if I should hire a prison consultant, he told me to save my money as he would do everything they would. He was right and held up to his word. Later on I would hear from others that went with the prison consultants that they were a waste of money - I am glad I listened to Todd!When it came time for sentencing, two days prior to sentencing, the prosecutor tried increasing my proposed prison time by almost double - apparently a normal move. Todd and his team worked with me non-stop through the weekend prior to sentencing to ensure that I was not given additional prison time. Again, he took the time to listen and came up with a strategy to explain the case with great detail.Unfortunately, I did plead guilty as that was my best option. Todd and his whole team wrote up nearly 300 pages of a summary of what happened and why I should not be given prison time. If I breakdown the amount I spent with Todd versus the amount of work that I saw being done, I am shocked I was not charged four times as much. The other benefit was, a lot of criminal defense lawyers were just a single attorney with a paralegal or two. Todd had a team of people that I dealt with (5-7 people that I interacted with), but he was ALWAYS accessible. It would never take him more than an hour to reply unless he was in court.I was sentenced to prison and I was emotionally distraught. Todd and his team did whatever they could even after sentencing to make sure I was alright. He personally stayed in touch with my family to ensure I was doing alright and offered support to them. Most lawyers would consider the job complete at sentencing, not Todd.After prison, Todd still spent time with me to make sure I was on the right track and avoiding any potential risks in the future. He has also been giving advice on how to navigate probation etc and has not been looking at the clock for billing.Although I wish I had never been arrested in the first place, I am glad I had Todd and his team in my corner. Without them I likely would have had to spend a lot more time in prison than I did.Thank you, Todd, and the entire Spodek Law team, for helping turn what was a nightmare into a manageable situation!
Yelva Saint-PreuxYelva Saint-Preux
19:26 19 Apr 24
I am immensely grateful to the entire team at Spodek Law Group for their unwavering dedication and exceptional expertise throughout my case. From our initial consultation to the final resolution, their professionalism and tireless advocacy made all the difference. Their strategic approach and attention to detail instilled confidence in me every step of the way.Thanks to their hard work and commitment, we achieved a truly favorable outcome that exceeded my expectations. Not only did they navigate the complexities of my case with precision, but they also provided invaluable support and guidance during what was undoubtedly a challenging time. I cannot recommend Spodek Law Group highly enough, especially attorneys Todd Spodek and Claire Banks; they are beacons of excellence in the legal profession.YSP.
Katherine SunKatherine Sun
18:08 18 Apr 24
my lawyer is Alex Zhik. Efficient, patient and professional
Nun yaNun ya
17:48 18 Apr 24
Todd, Ralph and Alex are amazing. Helped my husband get from a double digit number with multiple charges to a single digit, by the time I blink he will be out. They very professional and help with all your needs. They dealt with my anxiety and worry very well and they understand that your family member needs to get home as soon as possible.
Keisha ParrisKeisha Parris
20:45 15 Mar 24
Believe every single review here about Alex Z!! From our initial consultation, it was evident that Alex possessed a profound understanding of criminal law and a fierce dedication to his clients rights. Throughout the entirety of my case, Alex exhibited unparalleled professionalism and unwavering commitment. What sets Alex apart is not only his legal expertise but also his genuine compassion for his clients. He took the time to thoroughly explain my case, alleviating any concerns I had along the way. His exact words were “I’m not worried about it”. His unwavering support and guidance were invaluable throughout the entire process. I am immensely grateful for Alex's exceptional legal representation and wholeheartedly recommend his services to anyone in need of a skilled criminal defense attorney. Alex Z is not just a lawyer; he is a beacon of hope for those navigating the complexities of the legal system. If you find yourself in need of a dedicated and competent legal advocate, look no further than Alex Z.
Taïko BeautyTaïko Beauty
16:26 15 Mar 24
I don’t know where to start, I can write a novel about this firm, but one thing I will say is that having my best interest was their main priority since the beginning of my case which was back in Winter 2019. Miss Claire Banks, one of the best Attorneys in the firm represented me very well and was very professional, respectful, and truthful. Not once did she leave me in the dark, in fact she presented all options and routes that could possibly be considered for my case and she reinsured me that no matter what I decided to do, her and the team will have my back and that’s exactly what happened. Not only will I be liberated from this case, also, I will enjoy my freedom and continue to be a mother to my first born son and will have no restrictions with accomplishing my goals in life. Now that’s what I call victory!! I thank the Lord, My mother, Claire, and the Spodek team for standing by me and fighting with me. Words can’t describe how grateful I am to have the opportunity to work with this team. I’m very satisfied, very pleased with their performance, their hard work, and their diligence.Thank you team!
K MarK Mar
01:37 25 Jan 24
I recently had Spodek Law Group represent me for a legal matter in NYC and I am thoroughly impressed with their services.Alex Zhik secured the best possible outcome for my case.It was a seamless journey from the initial consultation to the resolution of my legal matter. From the moment I spoke to Todd about my case, his enthusiasm to help was evident, setting a positive tone for the entire experience. The efficiency and professionalism displayed by the team is commendable.A particularly noteworthy aspect of their service is their user-friendly portal to upload your documents/evidence. This not only simplified the process, but showcases their commitment to streamline the client experience.Lastly, in an industry where legal fees can often be a concern, I found their pricing to be very reasonable, making needing legal assistance feel accessible and stress-free.I am grateful for their support and wouldn't hesitate to turn to them again in the future.

Among those who are subject to the FCPA are “issuers” and “domestic concerns”.

  • An “issuer” is basically a company that has securities traded or is otherwise obligated to submit filings with the SEC.
  • A “domestic concern” is any organization that resides in the United States. or any individual who is a resident, national, or citizen of the U.S.

The FCPA may also apply to foreign corporations and persons if certain territorial jurisdictional requirements are satisfied. Indeed, several of the most highly publicized FCPA cases involved foreign firms and persons.

What Qualifies as “Anything of Value” under the FCPA?

The term “anything of value” covers many forms of payment including cash, vehicles, travel expenses, company shares, and even educational expenses.

What Does the Term “Obtain or Retain Business” Mean Under the FCPA?

This is most often associated with a government contract.  That said, the statute prohibits a much wider swath of business activities and transactions.

Penalties for Violating the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act

The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) handles civil enforcement of this law, while it is enforced criminally by the Department of Justice.  The way in which an investigation proceeds can differ widely depending on whether the target is an individual or a corporation.  FCPA investigations typically don’t result in criminal charges being filed against a corporation.  In lieu of prosecution, the government and the corporation will customarily reach a settlement agreement before any court action is taken.  The settlement is known as a non-prosecution agreement or a deferred prosecution agreement.  In it, the corporation admits to the violations and agrees to make changes to its internal policies and practices.  Once successfully completed, the charges against the corporation are dismissed. As far as an SEC investigation is concerned, a corporation usually settles a civil complaint filed by the SEC or resolves the case in an administrative order.

Charges are more likely to be filed against an individual, exposing them to severe repercussions. According to the FCPA, any officer, director, employee, or agent of an issuer or stockholder acting on behalf of such issuer, who willfully violates the anti-bribery provisions, is subject to fines up to $100,000 and five years behind bars. For corporations, the fine is up to $2 million.  It is worthy of note that willful violations of the FCPA’s accounting requirements subject individuals to huge fines of $5 million and a term of 20 years.  Corporate fines can soar as high as $25 million.


This industrial and consumer product manufacturer based in Munich, Germany pled guilty to bribery charges and also to violating accounting provisions. Siemens AG arrived at a settlement in the amount of $800 million, in December 2008.  The company agreed to pay $350 million to the SEC in disgorgement and $450 million to the U.S. Department of Justice in criminal fines. On top of that, the company was responsible for a fine of more than $5.5 million to the Office of the Prosecutor General in Munich.

Linda Chatman Thomsen, Director of the SEC’s Division of Enforcement, stated that the scale of Siemens’ nearly $1.5 billion in foreign bribery was unprecedented, involving government officials from Africa, the USA, Asia, Europe, and the Middle East. It was also discovered that in addition to more than 4,200 payments to bribe government officials worldwide in exchange for business to Siemens, the corporation made more than 1,000 other payments in the sum of nearly $400 million to third parties for embezzlement and other illicit and unethical causes.

Defending Foreign Corrupt Practices Act Cases

The FCPA contains just one exception.  The legislation provides that the anti-bribery provisions do not apply to any facilitating or expediting payment to a foreign official, political party, or a party official the purpose of which is to expedite or to secure the performance of a routine governmental function by a foreign official, political party, or party official.

The act also provides for two affirmative defenses.

  1. One affirmative defense is possible where payments remitted were lawful under the written laws of the foreign official’s country.
  2. The second affirmative defense comes into play if the payment was a reasonable and bonafide expenditure, such as travel and lodging expenses, that was incurred by or on behalf of the foreign official and was directly connected to the promotion, demonstration, or explanation of products or services or the execution or performance of a contract with a foreign government or agency thereof.

Additonal  to these affirmative defenses is the fact that an individual charged with an FCPA violation may have a multitude of other defenses that could be raised at trial.  For example, an individual might have had no knowledge that there was a payment made. A payment may have been made in good faith. In other scenarios, the “government official” might not have been a government official as defined for the purpose of this law.  The most effective ddefense to use will depend on the unique collection of facts for each case.

Call us today for your free and confidential consultation with one of our experienced Foreign Corrupt Practices Act attorneys.

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