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Unaoil – The Trace International Piece Of The Puzzle

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Trace International describes itself as “a globally recognized anti-bribery business organization and leading provider of third party risk management solutions.” (See here). According to Trace, its “due diligence solutions” are “based on internationally accepted best practices and our experience and familiarity with the compliance needs of multinational companies.”

According to Trace, being “Trace Certified” “means that you or your company have completed a comprehensive due diligence process administered by TRACE, the world’s leading anti-bribery standard setting organization.” Trace states that “the successful completion of TRACE certification demonstrates your commitment to commercial transparency, allowing you to serve as a valued business partner to multinational companies” and that one of the advantages of being Trace certified is “gain[ing] a valuable compliance credential that differentiates you from competitors and is widely recognized in the international business community.” (See here).

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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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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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Friday Roundup

Roundup

Across the pond, sentenced, unremarkable, and nonsense. It’s all here in the Friday roundup.

Across the Pond

As highlighted in this prior post, in July 2016 the U.K. Serious Fraud Office announced:

“The SFO is conducting a criminal investigation into the activities of Unaoil, its officers, its employees and its agents in connection with suspected offences of bribery, corruption and money laundering.”

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SBM Offshore Resolves $238 Million FCPA Enforcement Action

sbm

As highlighted in this prior post, in 2014 Netherlands-based SBM Offshore resolved a $240 million Dutch law enforcement action alleging improper payments to sales agents and foreign government officials in Equatorial Guinea, Angola and Brazil between 2007 through 2011. In connection with this action, the company disclosed: ““the United States Department of Justice has informed SBM Offshore that it is not prosecuting the Company and has closed its inquiry into the matter.”

Fast forward to earlier this month when, as highlighted in this prior post, the DOJ announced resolution of criminal charges against former SBM Offshore executive Anthony Mace and Robert Zubiate for their roles in a scheme to bribe foreign government officials in Brazil, Angola and Equatorial Guinea.

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