Two American units of Germany’s Linde Group received a declination with disgorgement from the DOJ Friday for FCPA offenses in the Republic of Georgia.
Under the declination pursuant to the FCPA Pilot Program, Linde North America Inc. and Linde Gas North America LLC paid the DOJ about $11.2 million.
Linde Group trades on German stock exchanges. But neither it nor the U.S. units have securities registered with the SEC.
Linde provides industrial gases for the oil and gas sector and other industries.
The Criminal Division launched the Pilot Program in April 2016. It gives companies incentives to self-disclose, cooperate, and remediate FCPA violations.
Companies that qualify can receive a 50 percent discount on fines they might face under the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines.
So far, the DOJ has issued six declination letters under the Pilot Program.
Three involved non-Issuers not subject to SEC jurisdiction. The DOJ required them to disgorge profits, creating a new category of FCPA enforcement actions.
In Friday’s declination, the DOJ said Linde made corrupt payments to high-level officials at the state-owned National High Technology Center (NHTC) of the Republic of Georgia.
The DOJ said that after Linde disclovered the corrupt conduct, it withheld earmarked money due a company controlled by the NHTC and put it in a separate account.
In the declination, Linde agreed to disgorge to the DOJ about $7.8 million and forfeit $3.4 million.
The DOJ said Linde also made a complete disclosure to the agency, fully remediated the offenses, improved its compliance program, and cooperated in the DOJ’s investigation.
A copy of the June 16, 2017 declination with disgorgement is here (pdf).
Richard L. Cassin is the publisher and editor of the FCPA Blog.