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$75 Million Penalty for Bribery of Foreign Officials

Wednesday, November 27, 2019
Sandler, Travis & Rosenberg Trade Report

A Korean company has agreed to pay more than $75 million to settle charges that it violated the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act in connection with its participation in a corrupt scheme to pay millions of dollars in bribes to officials in Brazil, according to a Department of Justice press release.

According to admissions from the company in question, beginning in 2007 and continuing until 2013 the company conspired with others to violate the FCPA by corruptly providing approximately $20 million in commission payments to a Brazilian intermediary, knowing that portions of the money would be paid as bribes to officials at a Brazilian state-owned oil and state-controlled energy company. These commission payments were made in order to secure improper business advantages and to cause the Brazilian company to enter into a contract to charter a drill ship that the Korean company was selling to a Houston-based offshore oil drilling company, which facilitated the execution of the sale of the drill ship. The Korean company also took actions in furtherance of the bribery conspiracy from its U.S. branch office.

The Korean company has entered into a deferred prosecution agreement with the Justice Department under which it agreed to pay a total criminal penalty of $75.48 million, an amount that will be apportioned equally to U.S. and Brazilian authorities. As part of this deal, the Korean company has also agreed to (1) continue to cooperate with the Justice Department in any ongoing investigations and prosecutions relating to the conduct (including of individuals), (2) enhance its compliance program, and (3) report to the Justice Department on the implementation of its enhanced compliance program.

For more information about the FCPA and ensuring your company is in compliance, please contact Kristine Pirnia at (202) 730-4964.

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