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The Honorable Patrick Leahy
United States Senator
Statement Of Senator Patrick Leahy,
Today, the Judiciary Committee considers an important anti-corruption statute, the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act. I thank Senator Specter for chairing a hearing on this timely topic, one on which I have worked with Senator Specter for decades. In the past two years, the Justice Department charged more than 50 individuals and collected nearly $2 billion in criminal fines in cases related to this important statute. I applaud the Justice Department for its recent success and hope that Federal prosecutors will continue to aggressively pursue the companies and individuals engaged in corrupt behavior overseas.
Effective enforcement of the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act is critical to the integrity of international business and economic development. In order to deter corrupt conduct, individuals involved in bribery schemes must face jail time for their offenses. Similarly, corporations must face criminal penalties, or a culture of corruption may persist, perpetuating violations over time. Aggressive enforcement of systematic violations by corporations, as by individuals, is necessary to ensure true deterrence of this intolerable conduct.
I have long been a champion of anti-corruption efforts, both at home and abroad. That is why Senator Cornyn and I joined together to introduce the "Public Corruption Prosecution Improvements Act," a bill that will strengthen and clarify key aspects of federal criminal law and provide new tools to help investigators and prosecutors attack public corruption nationwide. That is also why I have introduced legislation to restore the honest services fraud statute after the Supreme Court significantly narrowed its application to fraud and corruption. I look forward to working with Senators of both parties to pass these bills and to ensure effective enforcement of corruption statutes including the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act.
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