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A global resources company will pay a $25 million penalty to settle charges that it violated the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act in connection with sponsoring the attendance of foreign government officials at the Olympic Games, the Securities and Exchange Commission announced May 20. The settlement also requires the company to report to the SEC for one year on the operation of its FCPA and anti-corruption compliance program.
According to the SEC, the company required business managers to complete a hospitality application form for any individuals they sought to invite to the Olympics, including government officials. However, the company did not clearly communicate to employees that no one outside the business unit submitting the application would review and approve each invitation. The company failed to provide employees with any specific training on how to complete forms or evaluate the bribery risks of the invitations. Due to these and other failures, the SEC states, a number of the hospitality applications were inaccurate or incomplete and the company extended invitations to government officials connected to pending contract negotiations or regulatory dealings such as the company’s efforts to obtain access rights.