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Friday Roundup

Roundup

Scrutiny alerts, wow that case is still going on, and for the reading stack.

It’s all here in the Friday roundup.

Scrutiny Alerts

ZTE

According to this report “ZTE, the Chinese telecom giant that pleaded guilty three years ago to violating U.S. sanctions against Iran and North Korea, is the subject of a new and separate bribery investigation by the Justice Department […] The new investigation … centers on possible bribes ZTE paid to foreign officials to gain advantages in its worldwide operations. […] [N]ews reports, documents and at least one lawsuit filed in recent years have accused ZTE of corruption in more than a dozen countries, including Algeria, Liberia, Kenya and Zimbabwe.” (See here for a 2018 post regarding ZTE).

John Wood Group

John Wood Group plc (an energy services company based in Scotland) recently disclosed:

“The Group has received voluntary requests for information from, and continues to cooperate with, the US Securities and Exchange Commission (“SEC”) and the US Department of Justice (“DOJ”) in connection with their ongoing investigations into Amec Foster Wheeler in relation to Unaoil and the historical use of agents and certain other business counterparties by Amec Foster Wheeler and its legacy companies in various jurisdictions.

Independently, the Group has conducted an internal investigation into the historical engagement of Unaoil by legacy Wood Group companies, reviewing information available to the Group in this context. This internal investigation confirmed that a legacy Wood Group joint venture engaged Unaoil and that the joint venture made payments to Unaoil under agency agreements. In September 2017, the Group informed the Crown Office and Procurator Fiscal Service (“COPFS”), the relevant authority in Scotland, of the findings of this internal investigation. The Group has since taken steps to conclude its investigation of these matters and has now submitted its report on possible bribery and corruption offences to the COPFS. These matters are now being considered by Scotland’s Civil Recovery Unit as part of the self-reporting initiative applicable to Scotland.

Discussions concerning possible resolutions of the investigations by the authorities in the US, Brazil and Scotland have progressed to the point where the Group believes that it is likely to be able to settle the relevant matters with these authorities at an aggregate cost of $46.0m and this is reflected as a provision at 31 December 2019. Achieving resolution of the relevant matters will involve negotiations with five authorities in three separate jurisdictions, and accordingly there is no certainty that resolution will be reached with any or all of those authorities or that the aggregate settlement amount will not exceed the amount of the provision.

[…] Amec Foster Wheeler made a disclosure to the UK Serious Fraud Office (“SFO”) about these matters and, since April 2017, in connection with the SFO’s investigation into Unaoil, the SFO has required Amec Foster Wheeler to produce information relating to any relationship of Amec Foster Wheeler with Unaoil and certain other third parties. As it is not possible to make a reliable estimate of the liability that may arise, no provision has been made for this element of the investigation.”

Wow, The Case Is Still Going On

In the “wow, that case is still going on” category, former Siemens executive Eberhard Reichert (80 years old) and Andres Truppel (65 years old) are requesting leniency when sentenced in their FCPA cases. (See here and here). As highlighted in this prior post, in December 2011 the individuals (along with others) were charged in connection with the Argentina prong of the 2008 Siemens enforcement action.

As highlighted in this prior post, in March 2018 Reichert pleaded guilty to conspiracy to violate the FCPA’s anti-bribery provisions. As highlighted in this prior post, in September 2015 Truppel pleaded guilty pleaded guilty to conspiring to violate the anti-bribery, internal controls and books and records provisions of the FCPA; and to commit wire fraud.

Reading Stack

In this recent Corporate Crime Reporter interview, Pam Davis (Winston & Strawn and who has been an FCPA monitor) talks monitors.

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