Violations of the FCPA contain three elements: (1) a payment or something of value is offered, promised, or given (2) to a foreign official, political party, party official, or candidate (3) for a corrupt purpose.
“Something of value” extends beyond cash and gifts. Examples include but are not limited to per diems, travel and meals, gifts, training or scholarships, employment, and charitable donations.
The FCPA defines “foreign official” broadly. Agents, and employees of a foreign government may include professors and employees of state universities, advisors to ministries, members of government committees, healthcare professionals at state-owned or controlled hospitals, employees of public international organizations (such as the World Bank), and members of a royal family. The official need not be high-ranking and the designation applies also to the relatives and friends of the official.
You are acting with a corrupt purpose if you offer, promise, or provide something of value to a foreign official (either directly or through a third party) to improperly influence the foreign official in order to obtain, retain, or direct business or to secure any improper business advantage.
You cannot make a payment to a third party if you know (or should know) that some or all of that payment will be used in a way that violates the FCPA. In other words, you cannot legally ask or hire someone else to do something you are not legally allowed to do yourself.
A violation of the FCPA is considered to have occurred even if the effort does not work out.