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MSNBC: Mark Ames and Yasha Levine
Broke the Koch Brothers' Takeover of America
What You Should Know / September 30, 2011 -- What is striking about the emerging outlines of the Bloomberg story is how non-newsworthy it appears to be. Employees of a Koch subsidiary in France were caught making illegal payments in 2008, and therefore were fired by the company. Is that news? Not by any normal standard. The American Bar Association Journal reported that an investigation in the 1970s found that “more than 400 companies had paid some $300 million to foreign officials, politicians and political parties. Of those companies, 117 were listed on the Fortune 500.” Foreign bribery has continued to be a problem since then. Last year, a prominent American law firm tabulated SEC and DOJ Federal Corrupt Practices Act enforcement actions. It found that from 2008–the year when Koch learned that employees of its French subsidiary had made improper payments–until mid-2010, there were 109 FCPA enforcement actions.

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