Blackwater under investigation for bribing Iraq officials following 2007 deaths

The US Department of Justice is investigating whether Blackwater, now known as Xe, bribed Iraqi officials to allow the company to continue operating in the country following shooting deaths in 2007, the New York Times reported Jan. 31. The Justice Department’s fraud division reportedly began an inquiry into the alleged $1 million bribery in late 2009. Bribery of foreign officials is a violation of the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA). Blackwater will likely claim that the $1 million was restitution to the families of the individuals killed in 2007, which would exempt the company from violation of federal law. A conviction under the FCPA may include both criminal and civil penalties. (Jurist, Feb. 1)

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