Foreign Bribery “Nips” Another for About $300 Million

Summary

TechnipFMC PLC and a U.S. subsidiary agreed to pay about $300 million to settle joint foreign bribery probes in the U.S. and Brazil, the oil-and-gas services company said Tuesday.

A former Technip consultant also pleaded guilty to a charge of conspiracy to violate the United States Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (“FCPA”) according to the United States Department of Justice (“DOJ”).

TechnipFMC based in London entered into a three (3) year Deferred Prosecution Agreement with the DOJ to resolve allegations it bribed government officials in Iraq and Brazil, including at the country’s state-controlled oil-and-gas company Petrobras to win business.

TechnipFMC promised to apply “rigorous internal controls” and cooperate with a continuing investigation.

This is the second time in less than a decade that a Technip company has paid hundreds of millions related to bribery.

Some Details

Of the total fine amount, Technip will pay $214 million to Brazilian authorities, which brought a parallel case against the company.

Starting at least as early as 2003 and continuing until 2013, Technip and Singapore’s Keppel Offshore & Marine Ltd paid more than $69 million in inflated “commissions” to a consultant who passed on portions as bribes to Brazilian government officials at the state oil company Petrobras.

In a related matter in 2017, Keppel Offshore had paid $422 million to authorities in the United States, Brazil and Singapore, according to the DOJ.

TechnipFMC also used a Monaco-based intermediary company to pass bribes to at least seven officials in Iraq’s Ministry of Oil and two companies between 2008 and 2013, the department said.

While TechnipFMC settled with US authorities, its American subsidiary Technip USA admitted a single count of conspiracy to violate the FCPA in connection to the Brazil bribes.

In all, the company said it had reached settlements with Brazil’s Federal Prosecution Service, Comptroller General and Attorney General, as well as the DOJ and Securities and Exchange Commission (“SEC”).

The settlement with SEC staff is pending final approval by the five-member commission.

The DOJ cited “significant assistance” in the investigation from governments in Australia, Brazil, France, Guernsey, Italy, Monaco and Britain.

I welcome your thoughts and comments.

Jonathan T. Marks, CPA, CFE

Attribution:

WSJ

SEC

DOJ