Beam Inc. Joins Multinational Corporations Investigating FCPA Allegations in India

February 22, 2013 — Violations of the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA) are serious offenses, and multinational corporations need good policies and strict monitoring programs to detect and prevent problems. The FCPA forbids the payment of bribes or financial inducements to foreign government officials for the purpose of establishing or retaining a business advantage. Further, the FCPA mandates that companies put transparent accounting practices in place to make certain that funds are not available for improper purposes. Company informants are frequently the best whistleblowers because they are usually the first to notice bribery schemes when they occur. In fact, companies may try to pressure employees to take part in the illegality.

Beam Begins Internal Fraud Investigation Based on Tip from Whistleblower

Several multinational corporations doing business in India are now under investigation or conducting internal investigations concerning one sort of fraud or another, including bribery and FCPA violations, according to India Knowledge at The Wharton School. In addition to Walmart, this includes Beam Inc., the U.S. drinks maker of popular Jim Beam bourbon and Teacher’s scotch whisky.

Beam has begun investigation into insider allegations by a whistleblower of financial misdemeanors at the corporation’s unit in India. The company has asked its own senior management in India to stay home from the office until the investigation is concluded.

A recent KPMG India survey of attitudes toward fraud in India found that 71 percent of survey respondents believed fraud to be an inescapable part of doing business. An Ernst & Young survey found similar results, reporting that 70 percent of survey respondents in India think that bribery in the country is widespread.

Whistleblowers Combat Foreign Bribery

Company insiders can fight foreign bribery schemes by notifying the SEC of a corporation’s violations. Financial awards may be available for informants under the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act (Dodd-Frank Act) of 2010 if the information they provide leads to the SEC’s or DOJ’s successful prosecution of FCPA violations.

Experienced lawyers with Waters & Kraus offer skilled representation to FCPA whistleblowers who collaborate with the government. We are here to protect your interests. Contact us or call our whistleblower attorneys at 800.226.9880 to learn more about our anti-bribery practice and how we can help you.

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