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Details emerge about Keppel lawyer in FCPA guilty plea

The former lawyer at Keppel Offshore & Marine whose FCPA guilty plea was unsealed last week was an American citizen who worked at the company in Singapore for more than 25 years.

Jeffrey Chow, 59, pleaded guilty on August 29 to conspiracy to violate the FCPA.

As part of his plea he agreed to help the DOJ prosecute Keppel Offshore and other former executives.

On December 22, Keppel Offshore and its U.S. subsidiary agreed to pay a total penalty of more than $422 million to resolve corruption charges with authorities in the United States, Brazil, and Singapore.

Keppel admitted paying $55 million in bribes to officials in Brazil during a decade-long scheme.

The Singapore-based company operates shipyards and repairs and upgrades marine vessels.

According to court records, Chow admitted preparing contracts used to fund bribe payments, Reuters reported Wednesday.

His sentencing is set for May 2. FCPA conspiracy counts are punishable by up to five years in prison.

Chow, a U.S. citizen who lived in Singapore, said during his plea hearing in federal court in New York that he was “deeply sorry” for his actions, Reuters reported.

In the DOJ’s December 22 release, Chow was referred to as “a former senior member of [Keppel Offshore’s] legal department” but wasn’t identified by name.

Chow wrote contracts that overpaid a Keppel agent in Brazil. The agent used the overpayments to bribe Brazilian officials.

He said, “I should have refused to draft the contract that we used for paying bribes and I should have resigned from Keppel,” according to Reuters.

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Richard L. Cassin is the publisher and editor of the FCPA Blog.

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