U.S. Department Of Justice Re-Opens FCPA Probe
By: Christopher A. Iacono
SBM Offshore, a Netherlands based company that provides floating production systems for the oil and gas industry, confirmed recently that the United States Department of Justice has re-opened its investigation into the alleged bribery of government officials in Angola, Brazil and Equatorial Guinea between 2007 and 2011. According to SBM, the Department of Justice had closed its investigation in 2014 when the company reached a $240 million settlement with Dutch authorities involving the same allegations. Dutch authorities had alleged that SBM paid sales agents $200 million in commissions between 2007 and 2011 with tens of millions of dollars allegedly being paid to overseas officials. SBM had self-reported to authorities in 2012 after its internal investigation determined the company had paid $18.8 million in commissions directly or indirectly to officials in Equatorial Guinea and $22.7 million in Angola between 2007 and 2011.
SBM also acknowledged that it is in settlement discussions with Brazilian authorities relating to allegations of price fixing, bribing and kickbacks related to contracts with SBM’s largest customer, Petrobras, a semi-public Brazilian multi-national energy corporation. Despite SBM’s recent announcement, the United States Department of Justice has not commented on its investigation.