Posted by AzBlueMeanie:
I concede that I have been remiss in following the Rupertgate Scandal in Great Britain. There is so much going on in that investigation that it is difficult to keep track of all the goings on.
It has also disappeared from the American corporate mainstream media as "newsworthy" -- "We wouldn't want to cast aspersions on Rupert Murdoch and News Corp holdings, now would we? Bill O'Rielly and Sean Hannity might say something mean about us!"
All of that may be about to change soon. The Guardian reports that News Corp may face US inquiry after Sun arrests at News International:
Rupert Murdoch's News Corporation faces the increased prospect of a full-blown inquiry by US authorities as part of the continuing investigation into alleged bribery of public officials under America's foreign corrupt practices act, after the latest round of arrests of senior journalists at the Sun this weekend.
[Those arrested on Saturday include Geoff Webster, the deputy editor; John Kay, chief reporter; Nick Parker, chief foreign correspondent; Mike Sturgis, reporter; and John Edwards, picture editor. It is understood that the evidence giving rise to their arrests by police from Operation Elveden dates back a number of years; it also prompted the arrest the same day of a Surrey police officer, a Ministry of Defence official, and a member of the armed forces.]
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It was reported on Sunday night that the solicitor representing the family of Milly Dowler and other alleged victims of phone hacking is to take his battle against Murdoch to America. Mark Lewis, one of several lawyers representing clients pursuing claims against the News of the World for phone hacking, is expected to travel to the US within the next few weeks to meet American lawyers to discuss legal action there. Lewis was reported to be in the "advanced stages" of bringing at least one case against Murdoch's company in the US. He said he was "not prepared to deny" the reports.
The threat of prosecution under the US foreign corrupt practices act, which criminalises the payment of bribes to public officials by American companies overseas, exposes the company to tens of millions of dollars in fines and the risk of imprisonment of its executive officers – and brings the fallout from the phone-hacking scandal to the US.
Mike Koehler, an expert in FCPA law at Butler University, said the arrests on Saturday marked an escalation in the risk of an FCPA prosecution for the New York-based News Corp. "This spreads the alleged bribery to a completely different newspaper, to a different segment of the company and to other public officials," he said.
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It is also understood that the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) is conducting its own inquiries. The SEC takes an interest in cases where false financial information has been provided – in the case of News International, the use of false names in company records and accounts to disguise the recipients of bribes from journalists could fall into that category.
Koehler said the FCPA inquiry was likely to consider whether any News Corp executives were culpable. "The Department of Justice and SEC wouldn't be doing their job if they didn't ask what the executive officers of the company knew about corruption and whether they authorised it, or did anything to stop it."
The scale of any penalties that flow from the FCPA investigation would be based on a calculation of how much benefit the company derived from any corruption. Against that, mitigating factors would be taken into account such as the extent of co-operation given to the investigating authorities by the company.
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The costs of an FCPA prosecution can be severe. The largest fine in FCPA history was imposed in 2008 against Siemens for $800m (£508m), while the heaviest prison term was handed out last October to Joel Esquenazi, who is now serving 15 years in jail for bribery of telecoms officials in Haiti.
Yeah Baby! Now that's what I'm talkin' about! Rupert Murdoch and News Corp under investigation by everybody and facing Foreign Corrupt Practices Act lawsuits in the U.S. Will the mainstream corporate media even notice?