IDA Ireland broke US law – didn’t register 15 senior employees with US Justice Department till last year

IDA Ireland breached federal laws by failing to declare 15 senior employees with the US Department of Justice (DOJ).

Yesterday The Ditch reported that the state agency admitted to breaking US law by failing to declare its finances or activities to the US government for almost a decade.

IDA Ireland claimed in its statement that it had been fully compliant with the relevant legislation by October 2018 following an earlier US DOJ probe. Documents obtained by The Ditch show however that 15 US-based staff, some employed for more than a decade and including 14 vice principals, were not registered by the IDA up until last year.

Wilfully violating FARA carries a penalty of $10,000 or up to five years imprisonment.  

‘Correcting a deficiency’

IDA Ireland, despite yesterday claiming it had complied with the Foreign Agents Registration Act of 1938 (FARA) by October 2018, had to register 15 employees as foreign agents in April 2022. 

The agency filed this form with the US Department of Justice to “correct a deficiency” in records.

One employee who was not registered began working with IDA Ireland 14 years ago. The other 14 employees weren’t registered for periods of five to 10 years. 

Yesterday an IDA spokesperson claimed it had complied with FARA registration requirements by 2018.

“The inspection team requested that IDA Ireland bring its appropriate filings fully up-to-date by 1 October, 2018.  IDA Ireland subsequently complied with this request and since then all IDA Ireland FARA filings are up to date.”

Though a spokesperson for IDA confirmed to The Ditch that it had paid all relevant registration fees, it is unclear if IDA was fined by the US Department of Justice for violating FARA. 

IDA Ireland declined to comment when asked by The Ditch why it had failed to register its employees as foreign agents. 

The Ditch editors

The Ditch editors