Two former executives of Delaware-based Innospec were found guilty Wednesday in London of bribing Indonesian officials to buy the company’s gasoline additive.
Dennis Kerrison, a former Innospec chief executive, and Miltiades Papachristos, a former regional sales director, were convicted by a jury at the Southwark Crown Court of conspiracy and bribery.
The Serious Fraud Office said Wednesday the bribes were paid in Indonesia to sell tetraethyl lead, also known as TEL, “a highly dangerous organo-lead compound that was created as an octane booster to be added to engine fuel.”
“Leaded fuel, i.e. fuel that contains TEL, was banned in the UK in 2000 due to links between the compound and severe neurological damage,” the SFO said.
The SFO worked with U.S. agencies and with authorities in Indonesia, Switzerland, and Singapore to bring the men to trial in London.
“Today’s convictions finally bring to an end a long-running investigation into corruption at Innospec,” SFO Director David Green said.
Sentencing for Kerrison and Papachristos and two other Innospec executives who earlier pleaded guilty in the UK casse are scheduled for July 25.
In the U.S., Innospec pleaded guilty in March 2010 to a 12-count criminal information. The charges included violating the FCPA and defrauding the United Nations oil-for-food program by bribing Indonesian and Iraqi government officials to sell TEL.
In the UK, Innospec’s British unit pleaded guilty at the same time to bribing employees of a state-owned refinery in Indonesia to win sales of the fuel additive.
The company paid U.S. authorities $27.5 million for the settlement and $12.7 million to the SFO.
Ousama Naaman, Innospec’s agent in Iraq, pleaded guilty in Washington, D.C. in June 2010 to conspiracy and substantive FCPA charges. The dual citizen of Canada and Lebanon was sentenced in December 2011 to 30 months in prison and has since been released.
In August 2010, Naaman also agreed with the U.S. SEC to settle civil charges by disgorging $810,076 and prejudgment interest of $67,030, and paying a civil penalty of $438,038.
In January 2011, Paul Jennings, the former CEO of Innospec’s UK operations, agreed to pay the SEC $229,000, without admitting or denying allegations that he approved illegal payments in Iraq in 2004 and 2005.
Jennings pleaded guilty in the UK in June 2011 to two criminal counts of conspiracy to bribe officials in Indonesia and Iraq. He’s one of the executives to be sentenced next month.
David Turner, a former business director at Innospec, settled civil charges with the SEC in August 2010 for violating the FCPA. He agreed to disgorge $40,000 and wasn’t required to pay a penalty.
In January 2012, Turner pleaded guilty in London to three criminal counts of conspiracy to corrupt. He’ll also be sentenced in July.
Richard L. Cassin is the publisher and editor of the FCPA Blog. He can be contacted here.
Julie DiMauro is the executive editor of FCPA Blog and can be reached here.
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