Federal Government Audits Of International Businesses
Any company that does business anywhere in the world may find itself subject to U.S. laws designed to prevent criminal activities. The activities can be as simple as a U.S. company selling products on the internet. On the other extreme, the issue can arise when a foreign corporation trading on a U.S. stock exchange is alleged to have bribed a foreign government official.
If you face an audit, you require attorneys with up-to-date experience working with U.S. and international clients located in the Middle East, Europe and Asia, who do business in the United States. The areas range from issues with compliance, audits and investigations by the U.S. government. If possible, it is better to seek to have a head start and prevent legal trouble by seeking guidance through the compliance process. Fluency in French, German, Russian, Hebrew Arabic and Spanish, means that subtle details will not be lost in translation.
Defending Clients Against Government Investigations, Audits And Lawsuits
At Melito & Adolfsen P.C., we focus on managing audits by the federal government, defense against investigations and avoiding penalties.
- The Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA) prohibits, among other things, bribing a foreign government official. If you or your business is accused of giving bribes, the federal government may seek to examine the business records over a period of years. But generally the government will require that the company shoulders the bulk of the responsibility of discovering its own wrongdoing.
- The Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) (part of the Treasury Department) requires that companies take measures to avoid selling to potential terrorists posing as customers. It can be difficult to distinguish among the long list of names in foreign languages on the government database. You and your business must have the right compliance procedures in place to prevent selling to potential terrorists and or other wrongdoers.
These issues require sifting through records to determine whether there is any merit to the government’s accusations; if there is, the gravity of the problem; and the extent of the company’s financial and operational liability must be determined. The key is to formulate a response to the government to put the company in the best position possible under the circumstances.
Managing Compliance Requirements And Implementing Solutions
The penalties for not following compliance guidelines and requirements imposed by the federal government can be severe – fines, criminal liability in some cases and the distinct possibility of having U.S. operations shut down. We manage compliance requirements and implement solutions:
- Guidance and checklists
- Proving to the government that the business is compliant
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