The Securities and Exchange Commission announced in late June 2007 that it charged a former executive of Portland, Oregon-based Schnitzer Steel Industries, Inc. with violating the anti-bribery provisions of the FCPA. Si Chan Wooh of Tacoma, Washington, the former Executive Vice President and head of a Schnitzer subsidiary, agreed to pay approximately $40,000 in disgorgement, interest and penalties.
The complaint alleged that from at least 1999 through 2004, Wooh paid over $200,000 in cash bribes and other gifts to managers of government-owned steel mills in China to induce them to purchase scrap metal from Schnitzer. Schnitzer realized over $6.2 million in profits from sales to customers procured through these illicit payments. During the same period, Wooh made or authorized similar payments totaling over $1.7 million to managers of privately owned steel mills in both China and South Korea.
Without admitting or denying the charges, Wooh agreed to disgorge $14,819.38 in bonuses plus prejudgment interest of $1,312.52, to pay a $25,000 civil penalty, and to an order enjoining him from violations of the FCPA in the future.
In October 2006, Schnitzer settled related charges by the Commission by paying $7.7 million in disgorgement. Schnitzer also paid $7.5 million in penalties to settle related criminal charges brought by the U.S. Department of Justice.
View the SEC’s Press Release here.
View the SEC’s Complaint here.
View the October 2006 Schnitzer Cease and Desist here.