Export and Foreign Bribery Violations Yield $3.9 Billion in Penalties
The Department of Justice reports that a European company has agreed to pay combined penalties of more than $3.9 billion to resolve charges that it violated U.S. export and anti-bribery laws and regulations. The DOJ states that this resolution reflects the company’s cooperation and remediation and demonstrates the “significant benefits” available under its revised voluntary self-disclosure policy for export violations.
For more information about U.S. export and anti-bribery laws and ensuring your company is in compliance, please contact export attorney Kristine Pirnia.
A DOJ press release states that the company entered into a deferred prosecution agreement in connection with charges arising out of (a) a scheme to offer and pay bribes to foreign officials to obtain and retain business, in violation of the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act, and (b) the company’s willful failure to disclose political contributions, commissions, or fees in connection with the sale or export of defense articles and services to foreign armed forces, in violation of the Arms Export Control Act and its corresponding International Traffic in Arms Regulations.
According to the DOJ, the company’s payment to the U.S. will be $527 million for the FCPA and ITAR violations and an additional 50 million euros (approximately $55 million) as part of a civil forfeiture agreement for the ITAR-related conduct. The company has also has agreed with the Department of State’s Directorate of Defense Trade Controls to appoint a special compliance officer; strengthen its compliance policies, procedures, and training; and pay a $10 million penalty. DDTC states that this amount reflects aggravating factors such as the company’s “significant compliance program deficiencies and a lack of internal controls” as well as mitigating factors such as its history of voluntarily disclosing violations and efforts to minimize the damage to U.S national security and foreign policy.
In related proceedings, the company will pay (a) more than two billion euros (approximately $2.3 billion) to a French agency to settle foreign bribery charges and (b) approximately 990 million euros equivalent (about $1.1 billion) to the United Kingdom’s Serious Fraud Office for bribes paid in Malaysia, Sri Lanka, Taiwan, Indonesia and Ghana.