The consequences in the event of a criminal conviction are significant.
France now has a solid legislative arsenal to crack down on corruption. French law criminalizes active corruption (the corrupter) and passive corruption (the corrupt) in the same way.
In the case of public corruption, whether the agent is French or foreign, the maximum penalty is 10 years imprisonment and a fine of €1 million (or double the proceeds of the offence).
In the case of private bribery, the maximum penalty is 5 years imprisonment and a fine of €500,000 (or double the proceeds of the offence). It can be seen that the penalties are higher in cases of public corruption.
For legal persons:
In the case of bribery of public officials, the maximum penalty is set at €5 million (or 10 times the proceeds of the offence).
For private bribery, the maximum penalty is a fine of €2.5 million (or 10 times the proceeds of the offence).
An additional penalty of ineligibility, for those found guilty of corruption, has been systematised by the Sapin 2 law. The penalty of ineligibility is not automatic but it is now up to the judge to give reasons for his decision not to apply it.
For a legal person, i.e. a company or an organisation, a criminal conviction for acts of corruption can also have many detrimental consequences for it, in particular :
a temporary ban on access to European Union public procurement contracts,
the loss of trust of his business partners, and the loss of contracts,
the deterioration of its image with customers and investors,
Deterioration in working relationships and loss of trust in the organization's values, and greater difficulty in attracting highly skilled talent/sensitive people with ethical commitment.
All of this could obviously seriously compromise the survival of a company, but the Sapin 2 law provides for an alternative.
Companies and organisations can be offered a public interest judicial agreement.
Lawsuits can be dropped in exchange:
the payment of a heavy fine to the French Treasury,
submission to a compliance program,
of compensation to victims.
A real benefit in terms of image, and the company can continue its development... While relieving the courts...