Background

A United Kingdom-based global engineering company has agreed to pay more than $43 million to resolve investigations into violations of the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act stemming from a scheme to pay bribes to officials in Brazil in exchange for a contract to design a gas-to-chemicals complex. This amount includes a criminal penalty of over $18 million as well as $22.7 million in disgorgement and prejudgment interest to be paid to the Securities and Exchange Commission, with total offsets of up to $12.6 million for any penalty amounts paid to Brazilian and UK authorities.

According to the Department of Justice, between 2011 and 2014 this company conspired with others to pay bribes to decision-makers at the Brazilian state-owned oil company in order to win a contract of approximately $190 million to design a gas-to-chemicals complex in Brazil. The company, through certain of its employees and agents, took acts in furtherance of the scheme while located in New York and Texas and earned at least $12.9 million in profits from the corruptly obtained business.

The DOJ states that it entered into a three-year deferred prosecution agreement with the company that reflects a number of factors. On the negative side, the company failed to voluntarily and timely disclose the conduct and the nature and seriousness of the offense, which spanned multiple years and involved a high-level executive. However, the company also received credit for its cooperation with the DOJ’s investigation and its remediation measures. As a result, the criminal penalty reflects a 25 percent off the otherwise-applicable U.S. Sentencing Guidelines fine range.

For more information on the FCPA, please contact Kristine Pirnia.

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