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Foreign Bribery Charges Levied Against Former Oil Services Company Officials

Wednesday, January 08, 2014
Sandler, Travis & Rosenberg Trade Report

The Department of Justice announced Jan. 6 that three former officials of a British Virgin Islands oil and gas company with offices in New Jersey have been charged in connection with the alleged bribery of an official in Colombia in exchange for assistance in securing approval for an oil services contract worth roughly $39 million. Two former chief executive officers were charged with conspiracy to commit wire fraud, conspiracy to violate the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act, conspiracy to launder money and substantive violations of the FCPA. A former general counsel pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy to violate the FCPA and commit wire fraud.

According to the DOJ, the charges of conspiracy to commit wire fraud, conspiracy to violate the FCPA and violations of the FCPA each carry a fine of the greater of $250,000 or twice the value gained or lost, along with prison terms of up to 20, 5 and 5 years, respectively. The conspiracy to commit money laundering charge carries a maximum penalty of 20 years in prison and a fine of the greater of $500,000 or twice the value of the property involved in the transaction.

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