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South Korean Company Bribes Brazilian Officials Through Brazilian Agents, U.S. Collects $37.7 Million

SamsungHeavy

Last Friday, the Department of Justice announced that Samsung Heavy Industries (SHI – a South Korea-based engineering company that provides shipbuilding, offshore platform construction, and other construction and engineering services with a branch office in Houston) agreed to resolve a net $37.5 million Foreign Corrupt Practices Act enforcement action.

As highlighted below, the conduct at issue involved SHI’s relationship with Pride International (which is now part of Valaris plc) through which it sold a $636 million drillship to Petrobras.

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DOJ Announces Guilty Pleas By Former Unaoil Executives

unaoil

Yesterday, the DOJ announced that Cyrus Ahsani and Saman Ahsani (the former CEO and Chief Operations Officer of Monaco-based Unaoil) pleaded guilty in March 2019 to one count of conspiracy to violate the FCPA for their roles in a scheme to corruptly facilitate millions of dollars in bribe payments to officials in multiple countries. The DOJ also announced that Steven Hunter (a former business development manager at Unaoil) pleaded guilty in August 2018 to one count of conspiracy to violate the FCPA.

Prior Foreign Corrupt Practices Act enforcement actions against Rolls-Royce and SBM Offshore (see here and here) involved, in whole or in part, Unaoil and the Ahsani information refers to approximately 25 other companies including approximately ten U.S. based issuers. Thus, it is likely that additional FCPA enforcement actions involving, in whole or in part, Unaoil will be forthcoming.

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The Other Shoe Drops On TechnipFMC As The SEC Announces A $5 Million Enforcement Action

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The SEC’s fiscal year ends on September 30th. Thus, it is likely that many loose ends are being closed this week and, with history as a guide, there is likely to be more FCPA enforcement actions this week.

Most FCPA enforcement actions against issuers that include a DOJ and SEC component are resolved on the same day. However, as noted in prior posts here and here concerning the DOJ’s net $81.9 million FCPA enforcement action against TechnipFMC in June 2019, the SEC prong of the enforcement action was left open.

This loose end was closed yesterday as the SEC announced an approximate $5 million enforcement action against the company “for violations of the FCPA by FMC Technologies prior to its 2017 merger with Technip S.A.”

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TechnipFMC Joins FCPA Repeat Offender Club, Resolves Net $81.9 Million DOJ FCPA Enforcement Action, SEC Enforcement Action Forthcoming, Individual Criminally Charged

technipfmc

That’s a dense headline, but there was much at play in this DOJ announcement from earlier this week.

First, Technip joined the ever growing list of FCPA repeat offenders (see here) as the company previously resolved a $340 million FCPA enforcement action in 2010 concerning conduct at Bonny Island, Nigeria. (See here and here for prior posts). For good measure, as highlighted in this prior post, in 2016 FMC Technologies resolved a so-called non-FCPA, FCPA enforcement action.

Second, most FCPA enforcement actions against issuers that include a DOJ and SEC component are resolved on the same day, however this week’s development was DOJ only and this company press release states “TechnipFMC has reached an agreement in principle with the SEC Staff, subject to final SEC approval.”

Third, in connection with the same core conduct alleged in the DOJ enforcement action the DOJ also criminally charged Zwi Skornicki (a citizen of Brazil).

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The $300,000 Bogus Invoice

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[This post is part of a periodic series regarding “old” FCPA enforcement actions]

In 2001, the DOJ filed this criminal information charging Daniel Ray Rothrock (a Vice President of the Cooper Division of Allied Products Corporation with responsibility for international sales) with knowingly and willfully violating the books and records provisions of the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act.

According to the information, Cooper was engaged in the business of manufacturing and selling workover rigs and other oilfield well servicing equipment and one of its customers was RVO Zarubezhneftestroy (Nestro) and entity owned by the Russian government.

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