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Former Glencore Trader Pleads Guilty To FCPA And Related Offense

glencore

As highlighted in this prior post, for approximately two years Glencore (a commodities company incorporated in the United Kingdom and headquartered in Switzerland with common stock that trades on the New York based over-the-counter market) has been under scrutiny for conduct in Nigeria, the Democratic Republic of Congo, and Venezuela (as well as perhaps other countries).

Earlier this week Anthony Stimler pleaded guilty to FCPA and money laundering offenses. Stimler is described as a United Kingdom citizen and resident who was a trader at a Glencore subsidiary who worked on the West Africa desk from in or around 2002 until in or around 2009 and then again from in or around June 2011 until in or around August 2019. According to the DOJ “In that role, Stimler had responsibility for crude oil purchases from, among other places, Nigeria, and acted on behalf of Company 1 [Glencore] in procuring crude oil from Nigeria.”

In summary fashion, the criminal information alleges:

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Across The Pond, Amec Foster Wheeler / Wood Group Resolves £103 Million U.K. Enforcement Action

WoodFoster

Previous posts here and here focused on the recent net $17.7 million FCPA enforcement action against Amec Foster Wheeler and John Wood Group concerning conduct in Brazil.

In a parallel enforcement action, the U.K. Serious Fraud Office also announced that Amec Foster Wheeler and John Wood Group will pay “a financial penalty and costs amounting to £103 million in the UK.”

The enforcement action involved a ten count Indictment. One count (Count 10) concerned the same Brazil conduct at issue in the FCPA enforcement action and charged failure to prevent bribery, contrary to section 7 of the Bribery Act 2010.

The other nine counts in the Indictment (concerning conduct in Nigeria, Saudi Arabia, Malaysia, and India) charged conspiracy to make corrupt payments, contrary to section 1(1) of the Criminal Law Act 1977 and section 1 of the Prevention of Corruption Act 1906. The conduct at issue in these counts allegedly between 1996 and 2010 (in other words 11-25 years prior to the enforcement action).

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U.K. Companies Resolve Net $17.7 Million FCPA Enforcement Action Concerning Conduct In Brazil

WoodFoster

Approximately 7-10 years ago, a U.K. corporation (#1) engaged in alleged improper conduct with alleged Brazilian officials largely through a Brazilian intermediary company with the assistance of an Italian agent. Approximately 7 years ago, a different U.K. corporation (#2) acquired U.K. corporation #1 and then approximately 4 years ago another U.K. corporation (#3) acquired U.K. corporation #2.

And then, the U.S. government brought an FCPA enforcement action against U.K. corporation #1 because, at one time, the company had shares traded on NASDAQ – even though in connection with the same core conduct the U.K. Serious Fraud Office and Brazil law enforcement also brought an enforcement action.

That pretty much sums up last Friday’s net $17.7 million FCPA enforcement action against Amec Foster Wheeler Energy, which was acquired by Amec Plc in 2014, which in turn, was acquired by John Wood Group Plc in 2017.

The enforcement action was the first corporate FCPA enforcement action of the Biden administration and closed the approximate six month gap in corporate FCPA enforcement.

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DOJ Announces FCPA And Related Charges In Relation To Griffiths Energy International’s Bribery Scheme Involving Chad

Chad

These pages have followed the bribery enforcement action against Canada based Griffiths Energy International (GEI) and related issues for quite a long time.

As highlighted in this post, in 2013 Canadian law enforcement brought an enforcement action against GEI under Canada’s Corruption of Foreign Public Officials Act regarding the company’s efforts to obtain a production sharing contract with the African nation of Chad to provide GEI with the exclusive right to explore and develop oil and gas reserves and resources in southern Chad.  As noted in the prior post, in resolving the action, GEI acknowledged that it “directly agreed to provide, and indirectly provided, improper benefits to a Chadian public official in order to further the business objectives of GEI and its subsidiaries.”  The public official was Chad’s Ambassador to Canada, Mahamoud Adam Bechir, and by extension his wife Ms. Nouracham Niam.  Because Chad had no embassy located in Canada, the Ambassador resided in Washington D.C. and the previous post wondered if the DOJ would get involved.

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Former Gunvor Employee Pleads Guilty In Connection With Ecuador Bribery Scheme

gunvor

Recently Raymond Kohut (a Canadian citizen who lived in the Bahamas and worked in business development for Gunvor Group Ltd., a Switzerland based commodities firm) pleaded guilty in connection with an Ecuador bribery scheme.

Similar to the DOJ’s recent money laundering charges against Jorge Cherrez Mino and John Robert Luzuriaga Aguinaga in connection with a bribery scheme in Ecuador (see here for the prior post), the DOJ’s allegations against Kohut provide a jurisdictional basis for FCPA anti-bribery offenses, yet the information “only” charges money laundering offenses.

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