French Oil and Gas Company to Pay Nearly $400 Million to Settle Foreign Bribery Charges
A French oil and gas company has agreed to pay a $245.2 million penalty to the Department of Justice and an additional $153 million in disgorgement and prejudgment interest to the Securities and Exchange Commission to resolve charges that it violated the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act. The company was charged with making about $60 million in bribes to intermediaries of an Iranian government official who then exercised his influence to help the company obtain contracts to develop significant oil and gas fields in Iran, which yielded more than $150 million in profits.
Under a deferred prosecution agreement with the DOJ, the company has agreed to retain an independent corporate compliance monitor for three years and to continue to implement an enhanced compliance program and internal controls designed to prevent and detect FCPA violations. The company also agreed with the SEC to comply with certain undertakings regarding its FCPA compliance program, including the retention of a compliance consultant.