Andrew S. Boutros, a United States Attorney with the Department of Justice, presented on the Globalization of Anti-Corruption Laws for Valparaiso University Law School. The International Law Society, Business Law Society, and ABA Global Anti-Corruption Task Force sponsored the event.
Boutros discussed the prevalence of bribery worldwide and how large corporations have traditionally relied upon it to increase their profits and ensure business.
He also spoke on how the number of prosecutions related to these briberies has greatly increased. Currently, the United States, through the Securities and Exchange Commission and Department of Justice, is responsible for 75 percent of the prosecutions and has received billions of dollars in judgments. About 50 percent of the actions are against pharmaceutical and health care companies.
Boutros explained “carbon copy” prosecutions, which involve consecutive prosecutions by multiple jurisdictions for the same conduct. These actions can be brought against both companies and individuals, making both liable to owe damages in the billions to a number of different countries.
While the United States is interested in cracking down on bribery, there are many countries in which bribery is commonplace for even small daily transactions. Boutros pointed out that it is difficult to determine which countries’ morals should govern. This presentation was given in his personal capacity.