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Amec Foster Wheeler pays $41 million to settle agent-related FCPA offenses

Amec Foster Wheeler Energy Limited agreed Friday with the DOJ and SEC to pay about $41 million in penalties and disgorgement to resolve FCPA offenses in Brazil.

The London-headquartered oil and gas services company, now owned by John Wood Group PLC, entered into a three-year deferred prosecution agreement with the Department of Justice, that included a $18.3 million criminal penalty.

The DOJ charged Amec Foster Wheeler in federal court in New York with one count of conspiracy to violate the anti-bribery provisions of the FCPA.

In an internal administrative order, the SEC charged Amec Foster Wheeler with violating the FCPA’s books and records and internal accounting controls provisions.

As part of the SEC settlement, Amec Foster Wheeler agreed to pay about $22.8 million in disgorgement and prejudgment interest. The SEC didn’t impose a separate civil penalty.

The DOJ and SEC said they credited about $22 million that Amec Foster Wheeler will pay to resolve related enforcement actions by the UK SFO and agencies in Brazil.

According to the DPA,  between 2011 and 2014, Amec Foster Wheeler conspired with an Italian sales agent affiliated with a Monaco-based intermediary to bribe decision-makers at Brazil’s state-owned Petrobras in exchange for a $190 million contract to design a gas-to-chemicals complex.

The Monaco-based intermediary, likely Unaoil, was not named in Friday’s settlement.

Employees and agents of Amec Foster Wheeler “took acts in furtherance of the scheme while located in New York and Texas,” the DOJ said, and the company “earned at least $12.9 million in profits from the corruptly obtained business.”

The SEC said Amec Foster Wheeler paid about $1.1 million in bribes.

The bribes were paid through third-party agents, including one agent who failed Foster Wheeler’s due diligence process, but was allowed to continue working “unofficially” on the projects, the SEC said.

The company’s criminal penalty was reduce by 25 percent, the DOJ said, because of its “full cooperation and remediation.”

According to FCPA Tracker, Amec Foster Wheeler first disclosed the investigation in an SEC filing in April 2017. The company said the SFO joined the investigation in July 2017.

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