The Department of Justice reports that a U.S. company has agreed to pay more than $98 million to resolve a DOJ investigation into its violations of the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act. 

According to a DOJ press release, between approximately 2012 and 2018 the company and its co-conspirators paid bribes to Brazilian government officials in exchange for confidential information about pricing and bids submitted by the company’s competitors. This scheme was concealed by using code words and encrypted messaging applications, engaging in sham negotiations, and funneling the bribes through an intermediary who used offshore bank accounts and shell companies. The company earned more than $30 million in profits in connection with the scheme.

The DOJ states that the company has entered into a three-year deferred prosecution agreement under which it will pay a $68 million criminal penalty and $30.6 million in administrative forfeiture and will disgorge more than $7.6 million to the Commodity Futures Trading Commission.

A DOJ official noted that the settlement serves as “a reminder that the Justice Department incentivizes those who report illegal conduct and work with us to correct wrongdoing.” The press release noted that the company received credit for its cooperation with the DOJ’s investigation, even though it was “limited in degree and impact, and largely reactive,” early on.

The company also benefited from the remedial measures it undertook, including (a) overhauling its third-party compliance and risk management program, including through the implementation of enhanced risk-based due diligence, screening, ongoing monitoring and oversight procedures, and FCPA training for third-party agents, (b) reducing the use of third-party intermediaries, (c) strengthening its corporate governance and risk management structures, including by enhancing the independence and stature of its compliance function, (d) updating its global anti-bribery and corruption policy to include FCPA red flags, and (e) testing its third-party compliance program.

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