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Brazilian Airline Bribes Brazilian Officials – U.S. Collects Net $38.1 Million In FCPA Enforcement Action

GOL

Yesterday, the DOJ and SEC (see here and here) announced a parallel Foreign Corrupt Practices Act enforcement action against Gol Linhas Aereas Inteligentes S.a. (GOL) – an airline headquartered in Sao Paulo, Brazil with shares traded on the New York Stock Exchange.

The DOJ component involved a criminal information against GOL charging conspiracy to violate the FCPA’s anti-bribery and books and records provisions resolved through a deferred prosecution agreement in which the company agreed to pay net $15.3 million. The SEC component involved an administrative order against GOL finding violations of the FCPA’s anti-bribery, books and records, and internal controls provisions pursuant to which the company is expected to pay net $22.8 million.

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DOJ Announces 2020 Criminal Charges Against Individuals In Connection With Alleged Marshall Islands Bribery Scheme

Yan&Zhou

Last Friday, the DOJ announced that two Marshall Island nationals (Cary Yan and Gina Zhou – pictured) arrived in the U.S. after being extradited from Thailand based on 2020 criminal charges that the individuals violated the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (and other laws) in connection with an alleged scheme to bribe elected officials in the Republic of the Marshall Islands (RMI) in exchange for passing certain legislation.

According to the indictment, Yan and Zhou acted as officers, directors, employees, and agents of a New York City based non-governmental organization (NGO) and, while in New York City and other locations in U.S. territory, to offer and pay bribes to government officials in the RMI to pass certain legislation  that would benefit the business interests of Yan, Zhou and their associates.

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Yet Another Individual Enforcement Action Involving Venezuela

Venez

As highlighted in this recent post, approximately 55% of individual enforcement actions on the DOJ’s FCPA website since 2018 concern non-FCPA offenses in connection with alleged foreign bribery schemes – most often money laundering offenses – and an astounding 37% or so of individual enforcement actions involve just one country: Venezuela.

Continuing this theme, the DOJ announced yesterday that a federal grand jury in Miami returned an indictment charging Rafael Rixon Rafael Moreno Oropeza (a Venezuelan national) for laundering the proceeds of substantially inflated procurement contracts obtained by making bribe payments to senior officials at Petropiar, a joint venture between Venezuela’s state-owned and state-controlled energy company and an American oil company.

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Another Enforcement Action Involving Ecuador’s Seguros Sucre

seguros

From time to time, there are certain Foreign Corrupt Practices Act enforcement actions in which the core allegations just seem to “keep on giving” and spawn several related enforcement actions.

A prime example were the many FCPA (and related) enforcement actions involving Haiti Teleco from approximately ten years ago (see here) and the many recent enforcement actions concerning Venezuela’s PDVSA.

Enforcement actions concerning Ecuador’s Seguros Sucre S.A. (“Seguros Sucre”), an alleged state-owned insurance company and “instrumentality” of the Ecuadorian government are beginning to add up.

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Glencore Pleads Guilty In The U.K.

glencore

In connection with the May Foreign Corrupt Practices Act enforcement action against Glencore, the U.K. Serious Fraud Office also announced that a Glencore entity was charged with seven counts of bribery in connection with its oil operations.

Yesterday, the SFO announced that:

“Glencore Energy (UK) Ltd has … been convicted on all charges of bribery brought against it by the Serious Fraud Office (SFO).  At Southwark Crown Court, the company admitted to multiple counts of paying bribes to secure access to oil and generate illicit profit. The SFO’s investigation exposed that Glencore, via its employees and agents, paid bribes of over $28 million for preferential access to oil, including increased cargoes, valuable grades of oil and preferable dates of delivery.  These actions were approved by the company across its oil operations in Nigeria, Cameroon, Ivory Coast, Equatorial Guinea and South Sudan. Glencore will be sentenced on 2nd  and 3rd November his year.”

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