Chicago Regional Business Ethics Network Presentation Highlights Need for Global Anti-Corruption Training

On April 14, 2016 the Chicago Regional Business Ethics Network hosted a presentation by former FCPA violator and FBI/UK cooperator turned Anti-Bribery consultant Richard Bistrong. Several members of Syntrio’s staff were in attendance at the presentation, wherein Bistrong candidly provided the details of his path to the “dark side” in crossing ethical boundaries in foreign dealings while employed as a sales executive with a major U.S. corporation between 1997 and 2007.

Bistrong discussed his journey into a life of white-collar crime, as well as general bribery and business attitudes on foreign soil. Bistrong also stated that when he was hired, he was provided with a copy of the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (“FCPA”), told to read it, and never given any other education on bribery or the corruption of foreign officials in overseas dealings. The fascinating presentation continued to detail Bistrong’s cooperation with the FBI and UK law enforcement culminating in Bistrong’s sentencing to fourteen months in a Pennsylvania federal penitentiary.

Bistrong’s presentation highlights the need for detailed global anti-corruption training by corporations doing business overseas. For years, U.S. corporations were concerned primarily with the FCPA and its prohibitions on bribing foreign officials. In the modern era, anyone engaging in business dealings with foreign officials or international entities must also abide by global anti-corruption laws, including the U.K. Bribery Act, legislation arising from the International Organization for Economic Co-Operation & Development (“OECD”) and emerging legislation in Brazil, Russia, India and China (the “BRIC” nations). Failing to understand and observe these laws can result in illegal business practices and expose individuals and their organizations to civil or criminal penalties.

We must remind you, simply reading the news is not enough. As Bistrong’s story shows, even the most well-intentioned corporate officers can be led astray by their affirmation that “this is how business is done overseas” or corrupt dealings involving relatively small sums of money are a “win-win for everyone.” All too many businesses are sending their employees to far away lands armed only with the text of the law, a risky and dangerous strategy that is outdated in today’s marketplace. 

Armed with the knowledge that companies need to educate their employees on how to ethically and legally conduct business overseas, Syntrio recently developed a detailed online global anti-corruption course designed to help companies instruct their employees on operating within the boundaries of the new world order of international law. Rather than just provide a synopsis of the law, Syntrio’s bribery and corruption course takes the user through real-world scenarios designed to teach the finer points of anti-bribery and corruption laws that trip up even the most savvy of managers and executives.

Syntrio is committed to helping businesses avoid costly incidents associated with bribery and foreign corrupt practices. We are also able to custom-tailor our courses to fit the needs of your business. Contact for more information about our anti-corruption and bribery online courses for employees and management and remember to follow us on Twitter, Google Plus and LinkedIn for daily updates on compliance that impact your company!




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