Amec Foster Wheeler Energy Limited Solves Foreign Bribery Case, Agrees to Pay Over $ 18 Million Fine | USAO-EDNY
Amec Foster Wheeler Energy Limited (“Amec Foster Wheeler” or the “Company”), a subsidiary of John Wood Group plc (“Wood”), a UK-based global engineering company, has agreed to pay a penalty of more than $ 18 million to resolve charges arising from the Company’s involvement in a scheme to bribe foreign officials in Brazil in exchange for a contract of approximately $ 190 million to the design of a gas-chemical complex.
Earlier today, in Brooklyn federal court, Amec Foster Wheeler entered into a three-year Deferred Prosecution Agreement (“DPA”) with the United States Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of New York and the Criminal Justice Department Fraud Section in connection with the filing of criminal information filed in the Eastern District of New York City, accusing the Company of conspiracy to violate the anti-corruption provisions of the Act on Corrupt Practices Abroad (“FCPA”). In related proceedings, the Company has received provisional court approval for a settlement with the United Kingdom’s Serious Fraud Office and has entered into a settlement with the Ministério Público Federal (“MPF”), the Adogado-Geral da União (“AGU”) and Controladoria -Geral da União (“CGU”) in Brazil. A subsidiary of Wood has also agreed to resolve a related civil matter with the United States Securities and Exchange Commission (“SEC”).
Jacquelyn M. Kasulis, Acting United States Attorney for the Eastern District of New York, Nicholas L. McQuaid, Acting Assistant Attorney General, Criminal Division, Department of Justice, and Steven M. D’Antuono, Deputy Director in Charge, Federal Bureau of Investigation, Washington Field Office (FBI), made the announcement.
“Amec Foster Wheeler conspired to bribe officials in Brazil as part of a corrupt scheme to secure a $ 190 million government contract and generate millions of dollars in profit,” the Acting US Attorney Kasulis. “The Defendant’s lengthy DPA and his agreement to pay a fine of over $ 18 million demonstrates this office’s commitment to enforcing the anti-corruption provisions of the FCPA and the holding companies like Amec Wheeler Foster responsible for its conduct. illegal and corporate greed. “
“Amec Foster Wheeler has now admitted to paying bribes in Brazil to land a lucrative contract,” said Acting Deputy Attorney General McQuaid of the Justice Department’s Criminal Division. “In pursuit of profits, the company has resorted to corruption, which distorts markets and undermines the rule of law. Today’s resolution, including the monetary penalty and the agreement to improve compliance, underscores the Department of Justice’s commitment to hold businesses accountable when they break the law and to eliminate criminal misconduct.
“Today’s announcement demonstrates the FBI’s commitment to work with our international partners in the global effort to hold individuals and businesses accountable who believe corruption is the only way to do business,” said said the deputy director in charge of the FBI D’Antuono. “When companies like Amec Foster Wheeler try to cheat the system, it creates an uneven playing field for companies that don’t pay bribes. This deferred prosecution agreement, which includes both a substantial criminal penalty and other provisions, should serve as a warning to companies that even using a third-party intermediary to pay bribes will not prevent them from paying. be held responsible for international corruption.
According to the Company’s confessions and court documents, between 2011 and 2014, Amec Foster Wheeler conspired with others, including an Italian sales agent affiliated with a Monaco-based middleman, to pay bribes to decision-makers of Petróleo Brasileiro SA (“Petrobras”) to win a lucrative contract worth approximately $ 190 million from Petrobras for the design of a gas-chemical complex in Brazil called Complexo Gás-Químico UFN- IV. The Company, through some of its employees and agents, took steps to move the program forward while located in New York and Texas, and made at least $ 12.9 million in profits. thanks to the business obtained by corruption.
As part of the DPA, for a period of three years, Amec Foster Wheeler has agreed to continue to cooperate with the US government in any ongoing or future criminal investigation involving Amec Foster Wheeler, its officers, employees or agents. In addition, Amec Foster Wheeler and its parent company, Wood, have agreed to improve their compliance programs and report to the government on the implementation of those programs.
The government reached this resolution with Amec Foster Wheeler based on a number of factors, including the company’s failure to voluntarily and in a timely manner disclose the conduct that triggered the investigation, the nature and severity of the investigation. the offense, which lasted for several years and involved a high-level executive, and credit for the Company’s cooperation. The Company has also taken corrective measures, including dismissing those involved in the misconduct and adopting enhanced anti-corruption controls and procedures. As a result, the criminal sanction reflects a 25% reduction in the fine applicable to the US Sentencing Guidelines for the Company’s Full Cooperation and Remediation.
In related proceedings, the Company has also received provisional court approval for a settlement with the Serious Fraud Office in the United Kingdom and has entered into a settlement with the MPF, AGU and CGU in Brazil. Under the DPA, the Department will credit up to 25% ($ 4,593,750) of the criminal penalty owed in the United States to payments made by the Company in accordance with the resolution with the United Kingdom Serious Fraud Office, and up to ‘to 33% ($ 6,125,000) of the criminal penalty owed to the United States for payments made by the Company in accordance with the resolution with the Brazilian authorities.
In a related civil matter with the SEC, a subsidiary of Wood agreed to pay the SEC restitution and pre-judgment interest totaling approximately $ 22.7 million for the conduct in Brazil.
The FBI Washington field office is investigating the case. Assistant U.S. Attorney Julia Nestor of the Eastern District of New York, Deputy Chief Gerald M. Moody, Jr., and Trial Attorney Dennis Kihm of the Criminal Division’s Fraud Section are continuing the case. The Serious Fraud Office in the United Kingdom and the MPF, AGU and CGU in Brazil have provided considerable assistance.
Amec Foster Wheeler Energy Limited
EDNY File # 21-CR-298 (KAM)