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Former Keppel lawyer sentenced to time served

The former lawyer at Keppel Offshore & Marine who helped the DOJ prosecute his ex-employer for FCPA violations in Brazil was sentenced Friday to time served and probation.

Jeffrey Shiu Chow, 61, an American citizen born in New Orleans, pleaded guilty in August 2017 to conspiracy to violate the FCPA.

As part of his plea deal he agreed to help the DOJ prosecute Keppel Offshore and other former executives. He worked for the company in Singapore for more than 25 years.

Chow was sentenced Friday to one year probation and fined $75,000. Judge Kiyo A. Matsumoto said Chow can serve his probation “in Singapore, where he resides with his wife.” He’s also allowed to visit his mother in Louisiana during probation.

In December 2017, Keppel Offshore and its U.S. subsidiary agreed to pay total penalties 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 at the state-owned energy firm during a decade-long scheme.

Singapore-based Kepppel Offshore operates shipyards, and repairs and upgrades marine vessels.

Chow admitted preparing contracts used to fund the bribe payments.

“By no later than 2008, I realized that Keppel was overpaying the agent, sometimes by millions of dollars, so that the agent could pay bribes to individuals who could help Keppel Offshore Marine doing business with Petrobras,” he told the court in a sealed “John Doe” plea hearing in 2017.

He could have been sentenced Friday to up to five years in prison.

Chow said during his plea hearing in federal court in Brooklyn, New York that he “should have refused to draft the contracts that we used for paying bribes and I should have resigned from Keppel.”

“Instead, I discussed the economic terms of the contracts with my seniors at Keppel and acting in agreement with my seniors, and others at Keppel, I drafted the contracts and made sure that they were executed,” he said.

He told the court: “I am deeply sorry for my conduct.”

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