- The Irish National Asset Management Agency (NAMA) sold a €5.7 billion loan book in Northern Ireland for €1.6 billion to US investment fund Cerberus in 2014. This auction sale was known as Project Eagle.
- Mick Wallace MP claimed in the Irish parliament on 2 July 2015 that €9.8 million was discovered in an offshore Isle of Man account following an independent audit of Belfast law firm Tughans.
- Tughans were retained by New York based legal firm Brown Rudnick to assist Cerberus in its bid for Project Eagle.
- Mr Wallace claims that some of this money was “reportedly earmarked for a Northern Ireland politician or political party” associated with the €1.6 billion Project Eagle auction.
- The UK’s National Crime Agency (NCA) is leading the criminal investigation into the sale of Project Eagle.
Will the FBI initiate a similar investigation? The guidelines of the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA) 1977 state:
“The Travel Act, 18 U.S.C. § 1952, prohibits travel in interstate or foreign commerce or using the mail or any facility in interstate or foreign commerce, with the intent to distribute the proceeds of any unlawful activity or to promote, manage, establish, or carry on any unlawful activity. “Unlawful activity” includes violations of not only the FCPA, but also state commercial bribery laws. Thus, bribery between private commercial enterprises may, in some circumstances, be covered by the Travel Act. Said differently, if a company pays kickbacks to an employee of a private company who is not a foreign official, such private-to-private bribery could possibly be charged under the Travel Act.”