Among the 18 alleged phone-hacking victims, yesterday’s settlements included comedian Steve Coogan who received £40,000 and Liberal Democrat MP Simon Hughes who received £45,000. Paul Gascoigne has been awarded £60,000 plus special damages of £8,000, while George Galloway, who settled on Wednesday received £25,000. Last month 36 claims were settled for more than £700,000. The Telegraph reported today that News Corp’s bill for the phone hacking scandal is more than £125 million.
News Corporation was in the news again this week as Reuters reported that the FBI is stepping up investigations into whether News Corp employees violated a US law by paying police officers for stories.
While US investigators have failed to find evidence of phone hacking in the US, the FBI are continuing to carry out an investigation into violations by Murdoch employees of the US Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA), a law put in place to help curtail the payment of bribes by US companies to foreign officials. If Murdoch employees are found to have abused the FCPA, News Corporation could face fines of up to $2 million and be barred from US government contracts. Individual employees could potentially be fined up to $100,000 and face jail sentences of 5 years. Executives of News Corporation could face fines if they authorised bribes or were aware of violations to the FCPA but failed to stop them.