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:
“Between at least in or about 2007 and in or about 2018, Anthony Stimler … and others known and unknown, agreed to pay, and in fact paid, millions of U.S. dollars in bribes through intermediaries to foreign officials in multiple countries, including Nigeria, on behalf of a commodity trading and mining company with global operations (“Company 1”), in violation of the FCPA. In Nigeria, in exchange for the bribes, foreign officials caused the Nigerian state-owned and state-controlled oil company [Nigerian National Petroleum Corp] to award oil contracts and to provide more lucrative grades of oil on more favorable delivery terms to Company 1, two wholly-owned subsidiaries of Company 1 (“Subsidiary 1,” “Subsidiary 2,” and, collectively, the “Company 1 Subsidiaries”), and their business partners. After joining the bribery scheme, which had been initiated by other employees of the Company 1 Subsidiaries, Stimler, while acting within the scope of his employment as an employee of Subsidiary 2 and acting on behalf of Company 1, with the intent, at least in part, to benefit Company 1 and the Company 1 Subsidiaries, conspired with others to make millions of U.S. dollars in corrupt bribe payments to foreign officials in Nigeria, and elsewhere, to obtain and retain business for, and to direct business to, Company 1, the Company 1 Subsidiaries, and others. In furtherance of, and to promote the corrupt bribery scheme, Stimler and others conspired to transmit the bribe payments from Switzerland to and through the United States, and from the United States to foreign countries.”
The criminal information alleges various Intermediary Companies and co-conspirators were involved in the improper conduct.
- “Intermediary Company 1” was a Nigerian company used by Company 1 and the Company 1 Subsidiaries to pay bribes to Nigerian officials in order to obtain Nigeria oil cargoes from NNPC. Intermediary Company 1 contracted directly with Company 1 from in or around 2007 until in or around 2011, and with Subsidiary 2 from in or around 2011 until in or around 2014. 7.
- “Intermediary Company 2” was a Cyprus-incorporated entity used by the Company 1 Subsidiaries to pay bribes to Nigerian officials in order to obtain Nigeria oil cargoes from NNPC. Intermediary Company 2 had an affiliated company incorporated in the British Virgin Islands which used the same name as the Cypriot company.
- “Co-Conspirator 1” was a Nigerian and U.K. citizen and a resident of Nigeria and the United Kingdom, and was the owner and principal employee of Intermediary Company 1.
- “Co-Conspirator 2” was a United Kingdom citizen and resident, a trader at Subsidiary 2 from in or around March 1993 until in or around December 2009, and a consultant for Subsidiary 2 from in or around January 2010 until in or around December 2012 and again from in or around April 2015 until in or around March 2017, who acted on behalf of Company 1 in procuring crude oil from Nigeria.
- “Co-Conspirator 3” was a United Kingdom citizen and resident, and a trader at Subsidiary 2 from in or around July 2011 until in or around August 2019 who acted on behalf of Company 1 in procuring crude oil from Nigeria.
- “Co-Conspirator 4” was a citizen of Mexico and Spain, and a trader at Subsidiary 2 from in or around July 2009 until in or around October 2012 who acted on behalf of Company 1 in procuring crude oil from Nigeria.
- “Co-Conspirator 5” was a United Kingdom citizen and resident, a risk manager at Subsidiary 1 starting in or around April 2009, and, since in or around 2013, a trader at Subsidiary 2 who acted on behalf of Company 1 in procuring crude oil from Nigeria.
- “Co-Conspirator 6” was a French citizen and resident, and was employed by the British Virgin Islands affiliate of Intermediary Company 2.
- “Co-Conspirator 7” was an Israeli citizen and resident, and was employed by Intermediary Company 2.
Stimler was charged with conspiracy to violate the FCPA’s anti-bribery provisions and conspiracy to commit money laundering.
According to the court docket, Stimler pleaded guilty and his sentencing has been set for January 28, 2022.
In this release, Glencore stated:
“The conduct described in the plea is unacceptable and has no place in Glencore. Glencore has cooperated fully with the DOJ and other authorities in their investigations and continues to do so. Glencore has taken a number of remedial measures in light of what it has learned during the investigation. Glencore has significantly enhanced its ethics and compliance programme over the last few years with a view to developing a best in class programme. The programme comprises risk assessments, policies, standards, procedures and guidelines, training and awareness, advice, monitoring, raising concerns and investigations. […] Glencore is committed to operating ethically and responsibly in all aspects of its business.”
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