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June 11, 2007 

First U.S. Official Indicted Under FCPA

While most news reports discussing the indictment of Congressman William J. Jefferson (D-LA) focused on the cash found in his refrigerator, a little notice fact is that the indictment represents the first time that a U.S. official has been indicted under the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA).

The Justice Department's
indictment alleges that Jefferson violated the FCPA by "allegedly offering, promising and making payments to a foreign official to advance the various business endeavors in which he and his family had financial interest." Jefferson was allegedly responsible for negotiating, offering and delivering payments of bribes to a Nigerian official in an effort to "induce him to use his position to assist in obtaining commitments from NITEL, the government-controlled main telecommunications service provider in Nigeria."

Jefferson pleaded not guilty to the charges on Friday.

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