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Embraer Hit With SEC Subpoena

Brazilian aircraft maker Embraer said this week it received a subpoena from the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission relating to possible violations of the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act.

Embraer is the world’s third largest commercial aircraft manufacturer. It has about 17,000 employees and last year booked $5.3 billion in global sales.

In an SEC filing, it said the investigation centers on three countries, which it didn’t name. It said it is cooperating with the SEC and DOJ in an internal investigation.

The aerospace industry has been in the spotlight since early 2010, when U.K.-based BAE paid $400 million to settle FCPA and other charges with the DOJ.

Last month, reports said the U.K. Serious Fraud Office was waiting for approval from the attorney general to pursue a full-scale bribery investigation into EADS, the European aerospace giant. 

The allegations about EADS, like those in the BAE case, concern sales to Saudi Arabia and other Middle East countries.

Embraer SA trades on the NYSE under the symbol ERJ.

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The company’s complete FCPA disclosure appeared in its Form 6-K, Report of Foreign Private Issuer, for November 2011.

It said:

In response to a subpoena issued in an investigation by the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (“SEC”) relating to possible violations of the U.S. Foreign Corrupt Practices Act , the Company retained outside counsel to conduct an internal investigation into transactions in three specific countries. That internal investigation is ongoing, and the Company is fully cooperating with the SEC and the U.S. Department of Justice (“DOJ”). The Company’s outside counsel has been in regular contact with the SEC and the DOJ and has provided both agencies with documents and other information. The Company’s outside counsel recently met with both agencies to brief them on the status of its investigation. The Company and its outside counsel expect to continue to have discussions with the SEC and the DOJ. The Company is unable to predict duration, scope or results of the investigation.

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