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DOJ declination for UK engineering firm

The Justice Department said Monday it won’t prosecute a UK engineering firm for possible FCPA and money-laundering violations.

Guralp Systems Limited or GSL, based in Reading, UK, received the declination letter (pdf) “notwithstanding evidence of violations of the FCPA.”

The firm makes seismology testing equipment.

On Friday, the UK Serious Fraud Office charged Guralp’s founder and a top executive for bribes to officials at the Korea Institute of Geoscience and Mineral Resources (KIGAM).

Dr. Cansun Guralp, the founder, and managing director Andrew Bell were charged with conspiring to make corrupt payments to a public official, the SFO said.

In the United States last year, KIGAM’s former director was sentenced to 14 months in federal prison.

Heon-Cheol Chi was jailed for using a Southern California bank account to launder bribes he received from two unnamed seismological companies.

In Monday’s declination, the DOJ said,

Based upon the information known at this time and consistent with the FCPA Corporate Enforcement Policy, the Department has closed its inquiry into GSL, notwithstanding evidence of violations of the FCPA arising from GSL’s payments to Chi.

The DOJ said Guralp Systems made a “voluntary disclosure of the misconduct” and undertook “significant remedial efforts.”

GSL is “the subject of an ongoing parallel investigation” by the UK SFO “for violations of law relating to the same conduct,” the DOJ said.

In May this year, the DOJ said it would try to avoid piling on when companies face possible prosecution from multiple enforcement agencies.

Monday’s declination said Guralp Systems has “committed to accepting responsibility for [its] conduct with the SFO.”

GSL also cooperated with the DOJ and helped “with the prosecution of Chi for violating the U.S. money laundering statute,” the declination said.

Guralp Systems Limited was represented by Matthew Reinhard of Miller & Chevalier.

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

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