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Entries in FCPA (1)

Tuesday
Jul192011

Murdoch Scandal: Feds to Investigate Extent of Hacking, Bribes

File photo. Chairman of News Corporation Rupert Murdoch with Former Chief Executive of News International Rebekah Brooks in London. MAX NASH/AFP/Getty Images(WASHINGTON) -- The Justice Department is preparing to launch a preliminary investigation into whether News of the World officials engaged in a systemic conspiracy to pay bribes to British police, ABC News has learned.

If that can be established, department officials will have to determine whether News Corp., the parent company of News of the World, violated the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA) and whether charges should be brought against the company.

The revelation suggests that the Justice Department's look at News Corp. will reach beyond allegations that News of the World employees hacked the phones of 9/11 victims and their families, which is being investigated by the New York field division of the FBI.

Critical questions involve how many British police officials were involved, how much money was allegedly paid out by News Corp. to bribe them and whether it was a widespread pattern and corporate practice.

Department officials plan to seek the cooperation of British authorities immediately to see what Scotland Yard has turned up.

The Justice Department has brought bribery charges against major corporations before under the FCPA. But those cases have typically involved bribes on a massive scale.

Under the FCPA, federal prosecutors do not have to prove that illegal activity occurred within the United States, but only that a company that is publicly traded in the United States engaged in broad crimes overseas.

The planned Justice Department inquiry comes after a number congressional leaders demanded it review whether News Corp. violated the FCPA. Department officials are also reviewing whether the allegations of widespread hacking -- if proven -- constitute a violation of the law.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio







ABC News Radio