Tuesday, September 20, 2011

#hackgate #Newscorp :Said to Have Received a U.S. Justice Dept Letter Seeking Information For Bribery Probe

News Corp. (NWS) was sent a letter by U.S. prosecutors investigating foreign bribery, requesting information on alleged payments employees made to U.K. police for tips, according to a person with knowledge of the matter.

The letter is part of an effort by the U.S. Justice Department to determine whether News Corp. violated the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act, or FCPA, according to the person, who declined to be identified because the matter isn’t public. News Corp. fell 1.7 percent on the news.

The inquiry advances an existing U.S. probe that is reviewing claims that victims of the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks had their phones hacked by News Corp. employees. The letter doesn’t carry the same legal force as a grand jury subpoena, which would compel a response under law.

Earlier this year, it was revealed that reporters at New York-based News Corp. (NWSA)’s News of the World had hacked the voicemail accounts of celebrities and a young girl who had been kidnapped and murdered. Investigators subsequently began looking into allegations that the tabloid’s staffers made payments to police officers in return for confidential information.

The FCPA, enacted in 1977, makes it a crime for U.S. businesses or their employees to pay off representatives of a foreign government in an attempt to gain a commercial advantage. Federal prosecutors have broad discretion to interpret the law and its definition of who qualifies as a government official...read more