As United States law enforcement agencies have intensified their efforts to combat bribery in international business under the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (the FCPA), one form of corruption has been overlooked: bribery of indigenous leaders by multinational enterprises carrying out projects that impact their communities. This Article demonstrates that the FCPA, the Travel Act, and other federal statutes could be readily applied to this form of bribery in some cases. It also shows, however, that certain economic dealings between companies and indigenous leaders have legitimate purposes and would likely be treated as permissible under these statutes. The author therefore proposes guidelines for distinguishing between legitimate and corrupt transactions, which should inform companies, indigenous leaders, and law enforcement agencies when navigating and applying the statutory requirements. This Article also makes the case for assigning this form of bribery an enforcement priority equal to that of more conventional foreign corrupt practices, if and when the statutory elements are satisfied.
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