MainJustice.com takes Forbes magazine to task for a cover story accusing Justice Department prosecutors of ginning up Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA) cases to enrich themselves. A valid story questioning the high costs to corporations of FCPA investigations and compliance was marred by innuendo and unsupported allegations that Justice Department lawyers ramped up anti-bribery enforcement merely to make big bucks when they leave government, says MainJustice.
Forbes — at http://www.forbes.com/forbes/2010/0524/business-weatherford-kbr-corruption-bribery-racket_print.html — portrays increased FCPA enforcement as nothing but an extortion racket intended to make millionaires of prosecutors. Prosecutors are “creating a lucrative industry – FCPA defense work – in which they will someday be prime candidates for the cushy assignments,” Forbes wrote. “[T]here is nothing to stop prosecutors from ginning up cases that will feed the lawyers who used to have their jobs or from looking forward to a payday in the private sector that will be made possible by their busy successors at Justice.” This analysis ignores the long history of U.S. anti-corruption efforts, the consensus among developed countries about the corrosive effect public corruption has on living standards in poor countries, and the distorting effects on markets when contracts are awarded not on merit, but on the basis of who paid the biggest bribes to government officials, says MainJustice.